Archive for July, 2009


Occassionally, I come across old videos concerning work-related illness either through class or web-surfing. I will be posting those in order to catalogue them for my own sake. I’ll try to give some background and context with each as well.

The following is a 1938 clip warning of the dangers of inhaling Silica.

History of Silica Exposure

Silicosis is still one of the most prevalent work-related lung disease. There is no cure, so personal protective wear must be utilized to prevent disease. Here are a few tips for those working with Silica.


Read Full Post »

Pioneer of the Smallpox vaccine. Edward Jenner

Pioneer of the Smallpox vaccine. Edward Jenner

Are you familiar with the historical event which links dairymaids to the eradication of smallpox? Don’t know the story?! Get it here.

The title of this post refers to a recent report about an 2008 incident involving a young lab worker in Virginia. In early July, the labworker began experiencing fever, eye swelling and lymph node tenderness that progressed over seven days. On July 2nd he visited a hospital to be evaluated. It was discovered that he had worked with Vaccinia virus (VAVC) on June 26 despite his earlier claim to the contrary. This early ommision caused physicians to priortize infection in the differential diagnosis throughout his 5-day treatment. Patient samples were sent to the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Laboratory Response Network who were able to quickly identify the virus.

The academic institution underwent review and it was found that VAVC training was not mandatory for researchers who worked with the virus. As a result of the incident, vaccination is offered and VAVC training and counseling is mandatory for researchers working with the substance.

The full story.

Read Full Post »

Dr. Gibson’s blogpost highlights two recent findings from the Whitehall II Study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology finding that long working hours in midlife are associated with decreasing  cognitive function and possibly dementia. It’s a short, interesting read that also discusses some of the limitations of the study.

Earlier studies from the Whitehall Study group and related evaluations reported that long working hours are associated with cardiovascular and immunologic disorders, reduced sleep quality and duration, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and overall adverse health outcomes. Data examining the association between work hours and cognitive function is scarce, but the current study attempted to evaluate the link, since risk factors in midlife are important predictors of dementia in late life.

Dementia Explained

Read Full Post »

Hello world!

WordPress gives you this title for the introductory blog. I could change it, but I think it really is a great first greeting.

I’m sure you’ve said or heard the expression — work is killing me. Unfortunatley, this may not be too far off. There is a lot that we are learning about how the constructed environments in which we spend the most of our time, i.e. work and school, adversely effect our health. This blog will not be a put down against American industry, the country in which I live, or productive work which I hold is good for the soul. Rather, I hope this forum provides a resource of relevant information on work-related exposures risks and ways to improve your health.

I know that facts and figures can put some to sleep, so I’ll try to link to the nerdy details for all budding and professional epidemiologist readers.   I will also flavor this page with different types of media. I promise to link only products that are relevant to the subject. I have no financial links to…. well…. anything at this point. Enjoy and feel free to comment.

– Ockie (pronounced AW-Kee)

Read Full Post »