Breaking News
August 16, 2018 - Does medical school take too long?
August 16, 2018 - Brown University researchers reveal key physical properties of ‘giant’ cancer cells
August 16, 2018 - Regular resistance training improves exercise motivation
August 16, 2018 - Feds urge states to encourage cheaper plans off the exchanges
August 16, 2018 - Seven activities that prevent you from getting quality sleep during summer
August 16, 2018 - Five ways to tell if your baby is getting enough milk from breastfeeding
August 16, 2018 - From Pigs to Peacocks, What’s Up With Those ‘Emotional-Support Animals’?
August 16, 2018 - Breast cancers enlist the help of normal cells to help them spread and survive
August 16, 2018 - Engaging with “high-need” patients outside the clinic
August 16, 2018 - Research illuminates how online forum may offer suicide prevention support for males
August 16, 2018 - Researchers identify way to grow immune cells at large scale for preventing cancer reoccurrence
August 15, 2018 - Keck Medicine of USC’s hospitals ranked among nation’s best for the 10th consecutive year
August 15, 2018 - Researchers compare existing approaches for automating diagnostic procedures of skin lesions
August 15, 2018 - Autism risk determined by health of mom’s gut, research reveals
August 15, 2018 - WELL for Life challenges you to explore the great outdoors
August 15, 2018 - ‘Zombie’ gene protects elephants from cancer, study finds
August 15, 2018 - Ebola outbreak in Congo spreads to active combat zone
August 15, 2018 - Study highlights pollution exposure of babies in prams
August 15, 2018 - Study provides insight into link between sleep apnea and lipid metabolism
August 15, 2018 - New study focuses on promise of gene therapy for Amish nemaline myopathy
August 15, 2018 - Researchers discover new approach to alleviate chronic itch
August 15, 2018 - Uncovering the Mysteries of MS: Medical Imaging Helps NIH Researchers Understand the Tricky Disease
August 15, 2018 - Autistic people at greater risk of becoming homeless – new research
August 15, 2018 - New imaging technique can spot tuberculosis infection in an hour
August 15, 2018 - Scientists study effects of eating breakfast versus fasting overnight before exercise
August 15, 2018 - Talking with children about suicide could save lives
August 15, 2018 - Grip strength of children predicts future cardiometabolic health
August 15, 2018 - Innovative oncofertility program launched by RMA of New York and Mount Sinai Health System
August 15, 2018 - Study shows efficacy, safety of AAV5-based gene therapy to treat sheep model of achromatopsia
August 15, 2018 - Simple score helps predict which hospitalized heart attack patients are at high risk of readmissions
August 15, 2018 - New discoveries show how protein droplets do more than keep cells’ interiors tidy
August 15, 2018 - Study shows impact of optimizing airport flight patterns on human health
August 15, 2018 - Life experiences of feeling unwanted or unplanned associated with attachment insecurity
August 15, 2018 - ACS Briefing Discusses Use of Lessons From Combat Care
August 15, 2018 - Study identifies distinct origin of ADHD in children with history of brain injury
August 15, 2018 - IgG3 antibody stops B cells from fighting pathogens in HIV patients
August 15, 2018 - Scientists discover key vulnerability of mixed lineage leukemia
August 15, 2018 - College students may experience pressures from secondary exposure to opioid abuse
August 15, 2018 - Powerful new microscope reveals inner workings of human cells with unprecedented clarity
August 15, 2018 - Married people who fight nastily more likely to suffer from leaky guts, study suggests
August 15, 2018 - Working Out After Baby – Drugs.com MedNews
August 15, 2018 - Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
August 15, 2018 - ADHD linked to an increased risk of injury in children, study finds
August 15, 2018 - UIC researchers receive NIH funding to develop a better way to regenerate bone or tissues
August 15, 2018 - Study reveals how immune cells in the brain influence sexual behavior
August 15, 2018 - Researchers move closer to finding potential soft spot in drug-resistant tuberculosis
August 15, 2018 - Real-time dynamic monitoring of cell’s nucleus for effective cancer screening
August 15, 2018 - Lower rates of Medicare preventive care visits found in racial, ethnic minority older adults
August 15, 2018 - Scientists identify stress hormone as key factor in failure of immune system to inhibit leukemia
August 15, 2018 - Cytoplan introduces three new nutritional supplements
August 15, 2018 - Effective hemorrhage control critical for survival after motorsport accidents
August 15, 2018 - Sygnature Discovery announces ambitious expansion plan with addition of Alderley Park facility
August 15, 2018 - Dietary carbohydrates could lead to osteoarthritis, new study finds
August 15, 2018 - Male tobacco smokers have decreased number of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, study reveals
August 15, 2018 - Scientists explore ways for drug therapies to reach deadly brain tumors
August 15, 2018 - Rethinking fundamental rule of stroke care: ‘Time is brain!’
August 15, 2018 - Scientists reveal role of ‘junk DNA’ in cancer dissemination
August 15, 2018 - Google’s DeepMind AI could soon be diagnosing eye conditions
August 15, 2018 - Scientists trick the brain to embody the prosthetic limb
August 15, 2018 - Researchers focus on uncoupling obesity from diabetes
August 15, 2018 - Clinical study shows how EarlySense system effectively detects opioid-induced respiratory depression
August 15, 2018 - A class of proteins shown to be effective in reducing drug-seeking behaviors
August 15, 2018 - FundamentalVR launches first-of-its-kind SaaS software platform for surgical simulation
August 15, 2018 - Gemphire Announces Termination of Phase 2a Clinical Trial of Gemcabene in Pediatric NAFLD
August 15, 2018 - Rheumatoid arthritis in pregnancy associated with low birth weight and premature birth
August 15, 2018 - Study may help increase effectiveness of antibiotics against drug-resistant bacteria
August 15, 2018 - Analyzing resident-to-resident incidents in dementia may hold the key to reducing future fatalities
August 15, 2018 - Robotic walking frame aims to help maintain mobility of older adults
August 15, 2018 - Simple intervention during routine care reduces alcohol consumption in men with HIV
August 15, 2018 - Genetics Home Reference: gout
August 15, 2018 - Scientists ID genesis of disease, focus efforts on shape-shifting tau
August 15, 2018 - OncoThira and NDSU enter into license agreement to develop, market cancer compounds
August 15, 2018 - Scientists unravel the mystery behind ovarian cancer with high-grade serous carcinoma
August 15, 2018 - Common signs that indicate vision problems in children
August 15, 2018 - Removing the cancer label – overhaul in cancer classification proposed
August 15, 2018 - Prams may expose babies and toddlers to more air pollution finds study
August 15, 2018 - Duke researchers track missing T-cells in glioblastoma patients
August 15, 2018 - Cardiac Profiles Up With Exercise, Less Sitting in Early Old Age
August 15, 2018 - Precision medicine offers a glimmer of hope for Alzheimer’s disease
August 15, 2018 - Immunovia’s new blood-based testing platform accurately detects non-small cell lung cancer
Occupational safety and health at workplace

Occupational safety and health at workplace

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The Permanent Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has presented the 2018 List of Maximum Workplace Concentrations and Biological Tolerance Values. The list, which has now been submitted to the German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, includes 95 supplements and new entries and is available in printed form and as a digital open-access resource. The list is prepared in fulfillment of the DFG’s mandate to provide scientific policy advice as stipulated in its statutes.

The maximum workplace concentration (MAK value) for polytetrafluoroethylene is a new addition to the list. Known by a number of names, including Teflon and Gore-Tex, this substance is used to coat cookware and functional clothing and is essentially non-toxic. The MAK value therefore applies only to the fine particles of polytetrafluoroethylene dust produced in the workplace during production or processing, some of which can enter the alveoli. If a person is exposed to this dust in high concentrations over a prolonged period of time, the dust particles can cause inflammation in the lungs and the resulting tissue changes can lead to the formation of tumors.

The Commission takes a wide range of different factors into account when assessing chemicals of relevance to the workplace. As an example, a biological reference value (BAR) of 15 μg/g of creatinine in the urine has been determined for aluminum. This will help to describe the background level in the general population, not just in those who are exposed to the metal in the workplace. Exposure to higher levels of the substance does not necessarily represent a health risk, but the value does serve as an indicator of additional aluminum load and as such requires investigation into the cause. How aluminum affects the body is not yet fully understood. The BAT value for aluminum was determined by the Commission in 2017.

For women of childbearing age and pregnant women, the Commission reviewed the maximum plasma concentration up to which chlorinated biphenyls (also known as polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs) may be safely assumed not to be toxic to reproduction. Once used as plasticizers and in sealants, the production and sale of these compounds have been banned in Germany since 1989. However, they are still found in older buildings and appliances. After reviewing the relevant studies, the Commission concluded that there is no reason to expect reproductive toxicity up to a concentration of 3.5 μg of PCB indicator congeners – which indicate the overall level of chlorinated biphenyls in the body – per liter of plasma.

In addition to the eponymous maximum workplace concentrations (the amount of a substance that may be present in the workplace in the form of a gas, vapour or aerosol without causing long-term damage), the list of MAK and BAT values contains information about which substances are carcinogenic, damage germ cells or harm a developing foetus, sensitise the skin or respiratory tract, or are absorbed through the skin in toxic amounts. It also reports the concentration of a substance in the body to which a person can be exposed for a working lifetime without experiencing adverse health effects (the biological tolerance value). Furthermore, it describes biological guidance values (BLW values) and biological reference values (BAR values). For each of the reviewed substances, there is detailed scientific documentation that makes the Commission’s decision-making processes transparent. The proposals for the supplements and the new entries are available for discussion until 31 December 2018. New data and scientific comments can also be submitted to the Commission’s Scientific Secretariat up to that date.

In all, the Commission determined MAK values for 14 substances, changed the value for eight substances, and confirmed the existing value for 13 substances following a careful assessment of the most recent literature. One MAK value was deleted. In addition, the 35 substances with a revised or new MAK value were reviewed with regard to the limitation of short-term peak exposure and risks during pregnancy.

The Commission also examined all of the substances included in the list for their ability to sensitize the skin or respiratory tract; the skin-sensitizing effect of azinphos-methyl, 1-butanethiol and isobornyl acrylate was newly indicated. A warning that not only inhalation but also absorption through the skin can significantly contribute to health risks was added to five substances; this warning has been retained for 12 other substances. Experts have included ten supplements and new entries in the “BAT values, BLW, EKA and BAR” section. Amendments were made, for example, to the BAT values for chlorobenzene, dimethylformamide, methanol and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. The biological reference value for benzene was amended and new values were determined for aluminum and molybdenum. A new biological guidance value was determined for lead.

The digital version of the list of MAK and BAT values is available in German and English, and, as of last year, in Spanish as well. The data published by the Senate Commission provides an independent, scientifically sound source of information for many emerging nations in Latin America, which often lack the resources to establish evidence-based occupational safety limits and guidelines for preventive medical check-ups. The Commission is, therefore, contributing to the process of ongoing development and active occupational safety in countries with increasingly global economic links.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles