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Editorial

The “Ergonomist”– A New Occupation and a New Challenge

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Aurel Manolescu​

Reviews

Hypopigmentations in Occupational Medicine

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Our article reviews the most common causes of occupational hypopigmentation (occupational vitiligo, leukoderma, hypomelanoses, amelanoses). Various etiological and pathophysiological theories of these disorders are also discussed.

 

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Letitia Bucur, Liliana Constantinescu, Alexandra-Maria Rașcu

Occupational Radiation Exposure: Is the Reduction in the Dose Limit for the Lens of the Eye, Neccesary?

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The crystalline lens is one of the most radiosensible tissues in the body. Radiation-induced cataract is considered a deterministic effect that occurs at high doses of absorbed ionizing radiation, but a dose threshold is required. It falls into the category of early or late non-neoplastic effects. Studies suggest that there is a significant risk of radiation-induced cataract in the population exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation. The results of recent epidemiological studies have shown that medical radiation workers who are involved in interventional medicine and exposed to ionizing radiation have an increased rate of damage to the lens and led to a reduction in the equivalent dose limit for crystalline lens and its insertion in national legislation.

 

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Felicia Steliana Popescu

Ergonomics – Return on Investment

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During the day-to-day activities specific to occupational health we frequently face problems that can be attributed to not following basic ergonomic principles at different stages of the work cycle. The most frequent answer to suggestions for implementation of ergonomic measures is the high costs involved. Published data, that is currently available online, suggest otherwise. The return on investment for ergonomic measures is very high most of the time.

 

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Ovidiu-Ionuț Ene

Original papers

Biological Risk Assessment in Civil Servants from Town Halls: Air and Surfaces Contaminants

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Objective: this study aimed to provide data regarding the presence and abundance of air and surfaces biological contaminants in town halls and implement the culturable sampling method in occupational risk assessment.

Methods: 53 aeromicroflora samples and 53 swab samples from different surfaces were collected from nine local town halls (offices and archives) and cultured for analysis, following the total number of germs per m3 air and per surface (100 cm2); total number of hemolytic germs per m3 air and per surface; and total number of molds per m3 air and per surface. Likelihood ratio Test and Fisher Test were used for statistical processing.

Results: the omnipresence of mold and significant differences in total number of germs were found between selected institutions (p ≤ 0.05).

Conclusions: civil servants working in town halls are exposed to a contaminated environment and are at risk to develop respiratory symptoms. Hygienic measures, environmental recommended conditions, and occupational standards are required.

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Mihaela Stoia​

Case Reports

Pulmonary Siderosis: A Case Report, Clinical and Occupational Considerations

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The wide range of substances resulting from various welding processes along with poor working conditions may contribute to the development of occupational lung diseases. Siderosis is considered to be a benign form of interstitial lung disease due to occupational exposure and a non-collagenous pneumoconiosis caused by the inhalation and accumulation of iron oxide dust or fume resulting from the welding process. Also known as “welder’s disease,” symptomatic pulmonary siderosis appears to be more common in workers who perform arc welding. We present a case of a previously healthy, young female, who develops various respiratory conditions after chronic exposure to metal oxides.

 

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Laura-Georgiana Moise​, Ioana Uluițeanu, Lavinia Serea, Agripina Rașcu

Hot topics

Occupational Carcinogenic Agents

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  • Phenols
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Triclorophenol
  • 2-naphthylamine
  • Nickel

 

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Paula Tecuceanu, Eugenia Naghi, Claudia Handra, Agripina Rașcu

Facing the Limits of the Law in Occupational Medicine

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The legislation on occupational medicine services has undergone numerous changes, some better, others interpretable, but in order to understand the place and role of the occupational medicine physician, all the information flowing from these legislative provisions must be corroborated. The responsibilities of the specialist/primary occupational medicine physician have been taken over by doctors from other specialties or doctors in training at lower salaries. This change has led to a decrease in the quality of the medical act as well as a decrease in the prestige of this medical specialty, most of the employees/ employers failing to understand exactly what this medical specialty requires, but which they all benefit from regularly. By analyzing the laws, government decisions, emergency ordinances, and orders issued by the authorities regarding the employee medical check-ups, it is clear that the occupational medicine physician with the right of free practice is the only individual entitled to examine and make medical decisions about to the employee’s aptitudes.

 

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Bogdan Andrei Vinersar, Eugenia Naghi, Agripina Rașcu

Medical practice

Revision of European Legislation on Occupational Carcinogens and Mutagens – a Step Forward

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Occupational cancer is the biggest work-related cause of death in Europe. The number of casualties continues to rise. Although some recent studies argued that the causes of cancer are “random” and very little can be done to prevent it, this view has been strongly rejected by the scientific community, the World Health Organization (WHO)/ the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and others who consider it unethical to accept high levels of workplace exposures. The current state of EU legislation (Directive 2004/37/ EC) no longer reflect the scientific knowledge and cannot ensure appropriate protection for workers, leading to a major risk that would also affect the younger generation of workers, a phenomenon that has already been demonstrated by past failures. There is a need for European Community policies to eliminate occupational exposures by adopting a “no risk” strategy in workplaces. The first action was the amendment of the existing Directive with the introduction of binding occupational exposure limits (OELs) for 13 cancer-causing substances. The new provisions approved, the role of new occupational exposure limit values and the emerging challenges for Romanian occupational health are amongst the topics of this paper.

 

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Dana Mates, Mihaela Negru, Mariana Dumitrof

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