Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11790

Search results for: health risk assessment

11790 Health Risk Assessment of Trihalogenmethanes in Drinking Water

Authors: Lenka Jesonkova, Frantisek Bozek

Abstract:

Trihalogenmethanes (THMs) are disinfection byproducts with non-carcinogenic and genotoxic effects. The contamination of 6 sites close to the water treatment plant has been monitored in second largest city of the Czech Republic. Health risk assessment including both non-carcinogenic and genotoxic risk for long term exposition was realized using the critical concentrations. Concentrations of trihalogenmethanes met national standards in all samples. Risk assessment proved that health risks from trihalogenmethanes are acceptable on each site.

Keywords: drinking water, health risk assessment, trihalogenmethanes, water pollution

Procedia PDF Downloads 361
11789 Toward a Risk Assessment Model Based on Multi-Agent System for Cloud Consumer

Authors: Saadia Drissi

Abstract:

The cloud computing is an innovative paradigm that introduces several changes in technology that have resulted a new ways for cloud providers to deliver their services to cloud consumers mainly in term of security risk assessment, thus, adapting a current risk assessment tools to cloud computing is a very difficult task due to its several characteristics that challenge the effectiveness of risk assessment approaches. As consequence, there is a need of risk assessment model adapted to cloud computing. This paper requires a new risk assessment model based on multi-agent system and AHP model as fundamental steps towards the development of flexible risk assessment approach regarding cloud consumers.

Keywords: cloud computing, risk assessment model, multi-agent system, AHP model, cloud consumer

Procedia PDF Downloads 398
11788 Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Risk Assessment for Rocket Static Test

Authors: Phontip Kanlahasuth

Abstract:

This paper presents the environmental safety and occupational health risk assessment of rocket static test by assessing risk level from probability and severity and then appropriately applying the risk control measures. Before the environmental safety and occupational health measures are applied, the serious hazards level is 31%, medium level is 24% and low level is 45%. Once risk control measures are practically implemented, the serious hazard level can be diminished, medium level is 38%, low level is 45% and eliminated level is 17%. It is clearly shown that the environmental safety and occupational health measures can significantly reduce the risk level.

Keywords: rocket static test, hazard, risk, risk assessment, risk analysis, environment, safety, occupational health, acceptable risk, probability, severity, risk level

Procedia PDF Downloads 418
11787 Comprehensive Risk Assessment Model in Agile Construction Environment

Authors: Jolanta Tamošaitienė

Abstract:

The article focuses on a developed comprehensive model to be used in an agile environment for the risk assessment and selection based on multi-attribute methods. The model is based on a multi-attribute evaluation of risk in construction, and the determination of their optimality criterion values are calculated using complex Multiple Criteria Decision-Making methods. The model may be further applied to risk assessment in an agile construction environment. The attributes of risk in a construction project are selected by applying the risk assessment condition to the construction sector, and the construction process efficiency in the construction industry accounts for the agile environment. The paper presents the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment. It provides a background and a description of the proposed model and the developed analysis of the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment with the criteria.

Keywords: assessment, environment, agile, model, risk

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11786 Model of MSD Risk Assessment at Workplace

Authors: K. Sekulová, M. Šimon

Abstract:

This article focuses on upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders risk assessment model at workplace. In this model are used risk factors that are responsible for musculoskeletal system damage. Based on statistic calculations the model is able to define what risk of MSD threatens workers who are under risk factors. The model is also able to say how MSD risk would decrease if these risk factors are eliminated.

Keywords: ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, occupational diseases, risk factors

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11785 Some Discrepancies between Experimentally-Based Theory of Toxic Metals Combined Action and Actual Approaches to Occupational and Environmental Health Risk Assessment and Management

Authors: Ilzira A. Minigalieva

Abstract:

Assessment of cumulative health risks associated with the widely observed combined exposures to two or more metals and their compounds on the organism in industrial or general environment, as well as respective regulatory and technical risk management decision-making have presumably the theoretical and experimental toxicology of mixtures as their reliable scientific basis. Analysis of relevant literature and our own experience proves, however, that there is no full match between these different practices. Moreover, some of the contradictions between them are of a fundamental nature. This unsatisfactory state of things may be explained not only by unavoidable simplifications characteristic of the methodologies of risk assessment and permissible exposure standards setting but also by the extreme intrinsic complexity of the combined toxicity theory, the most essential issues of which are considered and briefly discussed in this paper.

Keywords: toxic metals, nanoparticles, typology of combined toxicity, mathematical modeling, health risk assessment and management

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11784 Risk Assessment for International Investment: A Standardized Approach to Identify Risk, Risk Appetite, Risk Rating, Risk Treatment and Mitigation Plans

Authors: Pui Yong Leo, Normy Maziah Mohd Said

Abstract:

Change of global economy landscape and business environment has led to companies’ decision to go global and enter international markets. As the companies go beyond the comfort zone (i.e. investing in the home country), it is important to ensure a comprehensive risk assessment is carried out. This paper describes a standardized approach for international investment, ensuring identification of risk, risk appetite, risk rating, risk treatment and mitigation plans for respective international investment proposal. The standardized approach is divided into three (3) stages as follows: Stage 1 – Preliminary Risk profiling; with the objective to gauge exposure to countries and high level risk factors as first level assessment. Stage 2 – Risk Parameters; with the objective to define risk appetite for the international investment from the perspective of likelihood and impact. Stage 3 – Detailed Risk Assessments; with the objectives to assess in detail any triggered elements from Stage 1, and project specific risks. The final output will include the mitigation plans for the identified risks for the total investment. Example will be given in this paper to show how comprehensive risk assessment is carried out for an international investment in power energy sector.

Keywords: international investment, mitigation plans, risk appetite, risk assessment

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11783 Weighted Risk Scores Method Proposal for Occupational Safety Risk Assessment

Authors: Ulas Cinar, Omer Faruk Ugurlu, Selcuk Cebi

Abstract:

Occupational safety risk management is the most important element of a safe working environment. Effective risk management can only be possible with accurate analysis and evaluations. Scoring-based risk assessment methods offer considerable ease of application as they convert linguistic expressions into numerical results. It can also be easily adapted to any field. Contrary to all these advantages, important problems in scoring-based methods are frequently discussed. Effective measurability is one of the most critical problems. Existing methods allow experts to choose a score equivalent to each parameter. Therefore, experts prefer the score of the most likely outcome for risk. However, all other possible consequences are neglected. Assessments of the existing methods express the most probable level of risk, not the real risk of the enterprises. In this study, it is aimed to develop a method that will present a more comprehensive evaluation compared to the existing methods by evaluating the probability and severity scores, all sub-parameters, and potential results, and a new scoring-based method is proposed in the literature.

Keywords: occupational health and safety, risk assessment, scoring based risk assessment method, underground mining, weighted risk scores

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11782 Qualitative Risk Assessment of Rift Valley Fever Vaccine Production

Authors: Mohammed E. Mansour, Tamador M. A. Elhassan, Nahid A. Ibrahim, Awatif A. Ahmed, Manal A. Abdalla

Abstract:

Rift valley fever (RVF) is mosquito-borne disease. RVF is transboundary zoonotic disease. It has socioeconomic and public health importance. This paper describes qualitative risk of the RVF vaccine production. RVF is endemic in the Sudan. It has been reported in Sudan due to abundance of Ades Eqytie. Thus, there is huge effort to control it. Vaccination practices had significant role to control and manage RVF. The risk assessment explains the likelihood of a risk as likely. Thus, insecticides and repellents synergize the effort of the vaccination.

Keywords: qualitative analysis, risk assessment, rift valley fever vaccine, quality control

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11781 The Study of Rapid Entire Body Assessment and Quick Exposure Check Correlation in an Engine Oil Company

Authors: Mohammadreza Ashouria, Majid Motamedzadeb

Abstract:

Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) and Quick Exposure Check (QEC) are two general methods to assess the risk factors of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). This study aimed to compare ergonomic risk assessment outputs from QEC and REBA in terms of agreement in distribution of postural loading scores based on analysis of working postures. This cross-sectional study was conducted in an engine oil company in which 40 jobs were studied. A trained occupational health practitioner observed all jobs. Job information was collected to ensure the completion of ergonomic risk assessment tools, including QEC, and REBA. The result revealed that there was a significant correlation between final scores (r=0.731) and the action levels (r =0.893) of two applied methods. Comparison between the action levels and final scores of two methods showed that there was no significant difference among working departments. Most of the studied postures acquired low and moderate risk level in QEC assessment (low risk=20%, moderate risk=50% and High risk=30%) and in REBA assessment (low risk=15%, moderate risk=60% and high risk=25%).There is a significant correlation between two methods. They have a strong correlation in identifying risky jobs and determining the potential risk for incidence of WMSDs. Therefore, there is a possibility for researchers to apply interchangeably both methods, for postural risk assessment in appropriate working environments.

Keywords: observational method, QEC, REBA, musculoskeletal disorders

Procedia PDF Downloads 249
11780 Development of Risk Assessment and Occupational Safety Management Model for Building Construction Projects

Authors: Preeda Sansakorn, Min An

Abstract:

In order to be capable of dealing with uncertainties, subjectivities, including vagueness arising in building construction projects, the application of fuzzy reasoning technique based on fuzzy set theory is proposed. This study contributes significantly to the development of a fuzzy reasoning safety risk assessment model for building construction projects that could be employed to assess the risk magnitude of each hazardous event identified during construction, and a third parameter of probability of consequence is incorporated in the model. By using the proposed safety risk analysis methodology, more reliable and less ambiguities, which provide the safety risk management project team for decision-making purposes.

Keywords: safety risk assessment, building construction safety, fuzzy reasoning, construction risk assessment model, building construction projects

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11779 Investigation of Occupational Health and Safety of Bakeries in Izmir, Turkey

Authors: Pinar Ercan, Bulut Mert

Abstract:

The baking industry is prone to occupational health challenges like other industries. Workers in bakeries face many hazards in their work environment; hazards have the potential for causing injury, illness or work accidents. Most of these hazards are preventable and arise from the neglect of occupational safety measures. Some bakeries in Izmır Turkey was evaluated according to occupational health and safety. First of all, the production process was evaluated. The survey was administered to a total of 50 employees. The survey consisted of two sections. The first one comprised only demographic questions and items related to job characteristics. The remaining section was assessing the satisfaction and confidence about occupational health and safety in terms of employees consist of a 10-item questionnaire by using HSE (2010) survey with some modifications. Also, hazards, risks and control measures in the bakeries were determined. Risk assessment has been done by the use of '5x5 Risk Assessment Table' for this purpose.

Keywords: bakeries, occupational health and safety, hazards, risks, risk assessment

Procedia PDF Downloads 247
11778 Tools and Techniques in Risk Assessment in Public Risk Management Organisations

Authors: Atousa Khodadadyan, Gabe Mythen, Hirbod Assa, Beverley Bishop

Abstract:

Risk assessment and the knowledge provided through this process is a crucial part of any decision-making process in the management of risks and uncertainties. Failure in assessment of risks can cause inadequacy in the entire process of risk management, which in turn can lead to failure in achieving organisational objectives as well as having significant damaging consequences on populations affected by the potential risks being assessed. The choice of tools and techniques in risk assessment can influence the degree and scope of decision-making and subsequently the risk response strategy. There are various available qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques that are deployed within the broad process of risk assessment. The sheer diversity of tools and techniques available to practitioners makes it difficult for organisations to consistently employ the most appropriate methods. This tools and techniques adaptation is rendered more difficult in public risk regulation organisations due to the sensitive and complex nature of their activities. This is particularly the case in areas relating to the environment, food, and human health and safety, when organisational goals are tied up with societal, political and individuals’ goals at national and international levels. Hence, recognising, analysing and evaluating different decision support tools and techniques employed in assessing risks in public risk management organisations was considered. This research is part of a mixed method study which aimed to examine the perception of risk assessment and the extent to which organisations practise risk assessment’ tools and techniques. The study adopted a semi-structured questionnaire with qualitative and quantitative data analysis to include a range of public risk regulation organisations from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The results indicated the public risk management organisations mainly use diverse tools and techniques in the risk assessment process. The primary hazard analysis; brainstorming; hazard analysis and critical control points were described as the most practiced risk identification techniques. Within qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, the participants named the expert judgement, risk probability and impact assessment, sensitivity analysis and data gathering and representation as the most practised techniques.

Keywords: decision-making, public risk management organisations, risk assessment, tools and techniques

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11777 Risk Assessment Results in Biogas Production from Agriculture Biomass

Authors: Sandija Zeverte-Rivza, Irina Pilvere, Baiba Rivza

Abstract:

The use of renewable energy sources incl. biogas has become topical in accordance with the increasing demand for energy, decrease of fossil energy resources and the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as to increase energy independence from the territories where fossil energy resources are available. As the technologies of biogas production from agricultural biomass develop, risk assessment and risk management become necessary for farms producing such a renewable energy. The need for risk assessments has become particularly topical when discussions on changing the biogas policy in the EU take place, which may influence the development of the sector in the future, as well as the operation of existing biogas facilities and their income level. The current article describes results of the risk assessment for farms producing biomass from agriculture biomass in Latvia, the risk assessment system included 24 risks, that affect the whole biogas production process and the obtained results showed the high significance of political and production risks.

Keywords: biogas production, risks, risk assessment, biosystems engineering

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11776 Development of Risk-Based Ambient Air Quality Standards in the Russian Federation on the Basis of Risk Assessment Procedures Harmonized with International Approaches

Authors: Nina V. Zaitseva, Pavel Z. Shur, Nina G. Atiskova

Abstract:

Nowadays harmonization of sanitary and hygienic standards of environmental quality with international standards is crucial part of integration of Russia into the international community. Harmonization of Russian and international ambient air quality standards may be realized by risk-based standards development. In this paper approaches to risk-based standards development and examples of these approaches implementation are presented.

Keywords: harmonization, health risk assessment, evolutionary modelling, benchmark level, nickel, manganese

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11775 Intellectual Property Risk Assessment in Planning Market Entry to China

Authors: Qing Cao

Abstract:

Generally speaking, China has a relatively high level of intellectual property (IP) infringement. Risk assessment is indispensable in the strategic planning process. To complement the current literature in international business, the paper sheds the light on how to assess IP risk for foreign companies in planning market entry to China. Evaluating internal and external IP environment, proposed in the paper, consists of external analysis, internal analysis and further internal analysis. Through position the company’s IP environment, the risk assessment approach enables the foreign companies to either build the corresponding IP strategies or abort the entry plan beforehand to minimize the IP risks.

Keywords: intellectual property, IP environment, risk assessment

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11774 Project Risk Assessment of the Mining Industry of Ghana

Authors: Charles Amoatey

Abstract:

The issue of risk in the mining industry is a global phenomenon and the Ghanaian mining industry is not exempted. The main purpose of this study is to identify the critical risk factors affecting the mining industry. The study takes an integrated view of the mining industry by examining the contribution of various risk factors to mining project failure in Ghana. A questionnaire survey was conducted to solicit the critical risk factors from key mining practitioners. About 80 respondents from 11 mining firms participated in the survey. The study identified 22 risk factors contributing to mining project failure in Ghana. The five most critical risk factors based on both probability of occurrence and impact were: (1) unstable commodity prices, (2) inflation/exchange rate, (3) land degradation, (4) high cost of living and (5) government bureaucracy for obtaining licenses. Furthermore, the study found that risk assessment in the mining sector has a direct link with mining project sustainability. Mitigation measures for addressing the identified risk factors were discussed. The key findings emphasize the need for a comprehensive risk management culture in the entire mining industry.

Keywords: risk, assessment, mining, Ghana

Procedia PDF Downloads 239
11773 Cognitive Characteristics of Industrial Workers in Fuzzy Risk Assessment

Authors: Hyeon-Kyo Lim, Sang-Hun Byun

Abstract:

Risk assessment is carried out in most industrial plants for accident prevention, but there exists insufficient data for statistical decision making. It is commonly said that risk can be expressed as a product of consequence and likelihood of a corresponding hazard factor. Eventually, therefore, risk assessment involves human decision making which cannot be objective per se. This study was carried out to comprehend perceptive characteristics of human beings in industrial plants. Subjects were shown a set of illustrations describing scenes of industrial plants, and were asked to assess the risk of each scene with not only linguistic variables but also numeric scores in the aspect of consequence and likelihood. After that, their responses were formulated as fuzzy membership functions, and compared with those of university students who had no experience of industrial works. The results showed that risk level of industrial workers were lower than those of any other groups, which implied that the workers might generally have a tendency to neglect more hazard factors in their work fields.

Keywords: fuzzy, hazard, linguistic variable, risk assessment

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11772 Design for Safety: Safety Consideration in Planning and Design of Airport Airsides

Authors: Maithem Al-Saadi, Min An

Abstract:

During airport planning and design stages, the major issues of capacity and safety in construction and operation of an airport need to be taken into consideration. The airside of an airport is a major and critical infrastructure that usually consists of runway(s), taxiway system, and apron(s) etc., which have to be designed according to the international standards and recommendations, and local limitations to accommodate the forecasted demands. However, in many cases, airport airsides are suffering from unexpected risks that occurred during airport operations. Therefore, safety risk assessment should be applied in the planning and design of airsides to cope with the probability of risks and their consequences, and to make decisions to reduce the risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) based on safety risk assessment. This paper presents a combination approach of Failure Modes, Effect, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA), Fuzzy Reasoning Approach (FRA), and Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) to develop a risk analysis model for safety risk assessment. An illustrated example is used to the demonstrate risk assessment process on how the design of an airside in an airport can be analysed by using the proposed safety design risk assessment model.

Keywords: airport airside planning and design, design for safety, fuzzy reasoning approach, fuzzy AHP, risk assessment

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11771 Screening Methodology for Seismic Risk Assessment of Aging Structures in Oil and Gas Plants

Authors: Mohammad Nazri Mustafa, Pedram Hatami Abdullah, M. Fakhrur Razi Ahmad Faizul

Abstract:

With the issuance of Malaysian National Annex 2017 as a part of MS EN 1998-1:2015, the seismic mapping of Malaysian Peninsular including Sabah and Sarawak has undergone some changes in terms of the Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) value. The revision to the PGA has raised a concern on the safety of oil and gas onshore structures as these structures were not designed to accommodate the new PGA values which are much higher than the previous values used in the original design. In view of the high numbers of structures and buildings to be re-assessed, a risk assessment methodology has been developed to prioritize and rank the assets in terms of their criticality against the new seismic loading. To-date such risk assessment method for oil and gas onshore structures is lacking, and it is the main intention of this technical paper to share the risk assessment methodology and risk elements scoring finalized via Delphi Method. The finalized methodology and the values used to rank the risk elements have been established based on years of relevant experience on the subject matter and based on a series of rigorous discussions with professionals in the industry. The risk scoring is mapped against the risk matrix (i.e., the LOF versus COF) and hence, the overall risk for the assets can be obtained. The overall risk can be used to prioritize and optimize integrity assessment, repair and strengthening work against the new seismic mapping of the country.

Keywords: methodology, PGA, risk, seismic

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11770 Influence of Non-Carcinogenic Risk on Public Health

Authors: Gulmira Umarova

Abstract:

The data on the assessment of the influence of environmental risk to the health of the population of Uralsk in the West region of Kazakhstan were presented. Calculation of non-carcinogenic risks was performed for such air pollutants as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide. Here with the critical organs and systems, which are affected by the above-mentioned substances were taken into account. As well as indicators of primary and general morbidity by classes of diseases among the population were considered. The quantitative risk of the influence of substances on organs and systems is established by results of the calculation.

Keywords: environment, health, morbidity, non-carcinogenic risk

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11769 Feasibility of Risk Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Community Pharmacies Using Two Different Approaches: A Pilot Study in Thailand

Authors: Thitaporn Thoopputra, Tipaporn Pongmesa, Shuchuen Li

Abstract:

Aims: To evaluate the application of non-invasive diabetes risk assessment tool in community pharmacy setting. Methods: Thai diabetes risk score was applied to assess individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Interactive computer-based risk screening (IT) and paper-based risk screening (PT) tools were applied. Participants aged over 25 years with no known diabetes were recruited in six participating pharmacies. Results: A total of 187 clients, mean aged (+SD) was 48.6 (+10.9) years. 35% were at high risk. The mean value of willingness-to-pay for the service fee in IT group was significantly higher than PT group (p=0.013). No significant difference observed for the satisfaction between groups. Conclusions: Non-invasive risk assessment tool, whether paper-based or computerized-based can be applied in community pharmacy to support the enhancing role of pharmacists in chronic disease management. Long term follow up is needed to determine the impact of its application in clinical, humanistic and economic outcomes.

Keywords: community pharmacy, intervention, prevention, risk assessment, type 2 diabetes

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11768 An Application of Self-Health Risk Assessment among Populations Living in The Vicinity of a Fiber-Cement Roofing Factory

Authors: Phayong Thepaksorn

Abstract:

The objective of this study was to assess whether living in proximity to a roofing fiber cement factory in southern Thailand was associated with physical, mental, social, and spiritual health domains measured in a self-reported health risk assessment (HRA) questionnaire. A cross-sectional study was conducted among community members divided into two groups: near population (living within 0-2 km of factory) and far population (living within 2-5 km of factory)(N=198). A greater proportion of those living far from the factory (65.34%) reported physical health problems than the near group (51.04 %)(p=0.032). This study has demonstrated that the near population group had higher proportion of participants with positive ratings on mental assessment (30.34%) and social health impacts (28.42%) than far population group (10.59% and 16.67 %, respectively) (p<0.001). The near population group (29.79%) had similar proportion of participants with positive ratings in spiritual health impacts compared with far population group (27.08%). Among females, but not males, this study demonstrated that a higher proportion of the near population had a positive summative score for the self-HRA, which included all four health domain, compared to the far population (p <0.001 for females; p=0.154 for males). In conclusion, this self-HRA of physical, mental, social, and spiritual health domains reflected the risk perceptions of populations living in the vicinity of the roofing fiber cement factory. This type of tool can bring attention to population concerns and complaints in the factory’s surrounding community. Our findings may contribute to future development of self-HRA for HIA development procedure in Thailand.

Keywords: cement dust, health impact assessment, risk assessment, walk-though survey

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11767 Towards Resilient Cloud Computing through Cyber Risk Assessment

Authors: Hilalah Alturkistani, Alaa AlFaadhel, Nora AlJahani, Fatiha Djebbar

Abstract:

Cloud computing is one of the most widely used technology which provides opportunities and services to government entities, large companies, and standard users. However, cybersecurity risk management studies of cloud computing and resiliency approaches are lacking. This paper proposes resilient cloud cybersecurity risk assessment and management tailored specifically, to Dropbox with two approaches:1) technical-based solution motivated by a cybersecurity risk assessment of cloud services, and 2)a target personnel-based solution guided by cybersecurity-related survey among employees to identify their knowledge that qualifies them withstand to any cyberattack. The proposed work attempts to identify cloud vulnerabilities, assess threats and detect high risk components, to finally propose appropriate safeguards such as failure predicting and removing, redundancy or load balancing techniques for quick recovery and return to pre-attack state if failure happens.

Keywords: cybersecurity risk management plan, resilient cloud computing, cyberattacks, cybersecurity risk assessment

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11766 Evaluation of a Risk Assessment Method for Fiber Emissions from Sprayed Asbestos-Containing Materials

Authors: Yukinori Fuse, Masato Kawaguchi

Abstract:

A quantitative risk assessment method was developed for fiber emissions from sprayed asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). In Japan, instead of being quantitative, these risk assessments have relied on the subjective judgment of skilled engineers, which may vary from one person to another. Therefore, this closed sampling method aims at avoiding any potential variability between assessments. This method was used to assess emissions from ACM sprayed in eleven buildings and the obtained results were compared with the subjective judgments of a skilled engineer. An approximate correlation tendency was found between both approaches. In spite of existing uncertainties, the closed sampling method is useful for public health protection. We firmly believe that this method may find application in the management and renovation decisions of buildings using friable and sprayed ACM.

Keywords: asbestos, renovation, risk assessment, maintenance

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11765 Mandatory Wellness Assessments for Medical Students at the University of Ottawa

Authors: Haykal. Kay-Anne

Abstract:

The health and well-being of students is a priority for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. The demands of medical studies are extreme, and many studies confirm that the prevalence of psychological distress is very high among medical students and that it is higher than that of the general population of the same age. The main goal is to identify risk factors for mental health among medical students at the University of Ottawa. The secondary objectives are to determine the variation of these risk factors according to demographic variables, as well as to determine if there is a change in the mental health of students during the 1st and 3rd years of their study. Medical students have a mandatory first and third-year wellness check meeting. This assessment includes a questionnaire on demographic information, mental health, and risk factors such as physical health, sleep, social support, financial stress, education and career, stress and drug use and/or alcohol. Student responses were converted to numerical values and analyzed statistically. The results show that 61% of the variation in the mean of the mental health score is explained by the following risk factors (R2 = 0.61, F (9.396) = 67.197, p < 0.01): lack of sleep and fatigue (β = 0.281, p < 0.001), lack of social support (β = 0.217, p <0.001), poor study or career development (β = 0.195, p < 0.001) and an increase stress and drug and alcohol use (β = -0.239, p < 0.001). No demographic variable has a significant effect on the presence of risk factors. In addition, fixed-effects regression demonstrated significantly lower mental health (p < 0.1) among first-year students (M = 0.587, SD = 0.072) than among third-year students (M = 0.719, SD = 0.071). This preliminary study indicates the need to continue data collection and analysis to increase the significance of the study results. As risk factors are present at the beginning of medical studies, it is important to offer resources to students very early in their medical studies and to have close monitoring and supervision.

Keywords: assessment of mental health, medical students, risk factors for mental health, wellness assessment

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11764 Advances in Health Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins in Africa

Authors: Wilfred A. Abiaa, Chibundu N. Ezekiel, Benedikt Warth, Michael Sulyok, Paul C. Turner, Rudolf Krska, Paul F. Moundipa

Abstract:

Mycotoxins are a wide range of toxic secondary metabolites of fungi that contaminate various food commodities worldwide especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Such contamination seriously compromises food safety and quality posing a serious problem for human health as well as to trade and the economy. Their concentrations depend on various factors, such as the commodity itself, climatic conditions, storage conditions, seasonal variances, and processing methods. When humans consume foods contaminated by mycotoxins, they exert toxic effects to their health through various modes of actions. Rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa, are exposed to dietary mycotoxins, but it is supposed that exposure levels and health risks associated with mycotoxins between SSA countries may vary. Dietary exposures and health risk assessment studies have been limited by lack of equipment for the proper assessment of the associated health implications on consumer populations when they eat contaminated agricultural products. As such, mycotoxin research is premature in several SSA nations with product evaluation for mycotoxin loads below/above legislative limits being inadequate. Few nations have health risk assessment reports mainly based on direct quantification of the toxins in foods ('external exposure') and linking food levels with data from food frequency questionnaires. Nonetheless, the assessment of the exposure and health risk to mycotoxins requires more than the traditional approaches. Only a fraction of the mycotoxins in contaminated foods reaches the blood stream and exert toxicity ('internal exposure'). Also, internal exposure is usually smaller than external exposure thus dependence on external exposure alone may induce confounders in risk assessment. Some studies from SSA earlier focused on biomarker analysis mainly on aflatoxins while a few recent studies have concentrated on the multi-biomarker analysis of exposures in urine providing probable associations between observed disease occurrences and dietary mycotoxins levels. As a result, new techniques that could assess the levels of exposures directly in body tissue or fluid, and possibly link them to the disease state of individuals became urgent.

Keywords: mycotoxins, biomarkers, exposure assessment, health risk assessment, sub-Saharan Africa

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11763 Levels of Selected Heavy Metals in Varieties of Vegetable oils Consumed in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Health Risk Assessment of Local Population

Authors: Muhammad Waqar Ashraf

Abstract:

Selected heavy metals, namely Cu, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cd, Pb, and As, in seven popular varieties of edible vegetable oils collected from Saudi Arabia, were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF-AAS) using microwave digestion. The accuracy of procedure was confirmed by certified reference materials (NIST 1577b). The concentrations for copper, zinc, iron, manganese, lead and arsenic were observed in the range of 0.035 - 0.286, 0.955 - 3.10, 17.3 - 57.8, 0.178 - 0.586, 0.011 - 0.017 and 0.011 - 0.018 µg/g, respectively. Cadmium was found to be in the range of 2.36 - 6.34 ng/g. The results are compared internationally and with standards laid down by world health agencies. A risk assessment study has been carried out to assess exposure to these metals via consumption of vegetable oils. A comparison has been made with safety intake levels for these heavy metals recommended by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM), US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The results indicated that the dietary intakes of the selected heavy metals from daily consumption of 25 g of edible vegetable oils for a 70 kg individual should pose no significant health risk to local population.

Keywords: vegetable oils, heavy metals, contamination, health risk assessment

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11762 Integration of FMEA and Human Factor in the Food Chain Risk Assessment

Authors: Mohsen Shirani, Micaela Demichela

Abstract:

During the last decades, a number of food crises such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), Mad-Cow disease, Dioxin in chicken food, Food-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), have certainly inflicted the reliability of the food industry. Consequently, the trend in applying different scientific methods of risk assessment in food safety has obtained more attentions in the academic and practice. However, lack of practical approach considering entire food supply chain is tangible in the academic literature. In this regard, this paper aims to apply risk assessment tool (FMEA) with integration of Human Factor along the entire supply chain of food production and test the method in a case study of Diary production, and analyze its results.

Keywords: FMEA, food supply chain, risk assessment, human factor

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11761 An Occupational Health Risk Assessment for Exposure to Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes: A Case Study of Informal Traders in a Metro Centre (Taxi Rank) in South Africa

Authors: Makhosazana Dubazana

Abstract:

Many South Africans commuters use minibus taxis daily and are connected to the informal transport network through metro centres informally known as Taxi Ranks. Taxi ranks form part of an economic nexus for many informal traders, connecting them to commuters, their prime clientele. They work along designated areas along the periphery of the taxi rank and in between taxi lanes. Informal traders are therefore at risk of adverse health effects associated with the inhalation of exhaust fumes from minibus taxis. Of the exhaust emissions, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) have high toxicity. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to conduct a Human Health Risk Assessment for informal traders, looking at their exposure to BTEX compounds. Methods: The study was conducted in a subsection of a taxi rank which is representative of the entire taxi rank. This subsection has a daily average of 400 minibus taxi moving through it and an average of 60 informal traders working in it. In the health risk assessment, a questionnaire was conducted to understand the occupational behaviour of the informal traders. This was used to deduce the exposure scenarios and sampling locations. Three sampling campaigns were run for an average of 10 hours each covering the average working hours of traders. A gas chronographer was used for collecting continues ambient air samples at 15 min intervals. Results: Over the three sampling days, the average concentrations were, 8.46ppb, 0.63 ppb, 1.27ppb and 1.0ppb for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene respectively. The average cancer risk is 9.46E-03. In several cases, they were incidences of unacceptable risk for the cumulative exposure of all four BTEX compounds. Conclusion: This study adds to the body of knowledge on the Human Health Risk effects of urban BTEX pollution, furthermore focusing on the impact of urban BTEX on high risk personal such as informal traders, in Southern Africa.

Keywords: human health risk assessment, informal traders, occupational risk, urban BTEX

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