81 e-Letters

published between 2006 and 2009

  • One size does not fit all
    Anthony N Williams


    I welcome the caution shown by Amick (1) in his editorial on forearm support and mouse design for computer users. He praises the study design used by Conlon et al (2), but is a randomised control trial really the best way to assess ergonomic aids when there are so many confounders? Simple observation of a group of computer users will identify a range of postures, as well as a wide variation in arm length...

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  • Carcinogenicity of wood dust
    Heikki Savolainen

    Dear Editor,

    As pointed out by the authors, the ultimate carcinogen in the occupational wood dust exposure is not known. It has been known that hardwood dust particles are much more harmful than those from softwood sources. Tannins are versatile markers for hardwood species (1) and their presence e.g. in the nasal lavage liquid can be used to quantitatively monitor the dust burden at the target site (2).

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  • Exposure-response association between air pollutants and ischaemic heart disease mortality
    Igor Burstyn

    To the Editor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine:

    We agree with suggestion of Dr. Sjögren that examination of the exposure-response relationship between occupational exposures and ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is scientifically justified and is of great importance to public health. An important motive for exploring this research question in the work environment are repeated observations in outdoor pollu...

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  • A novel hypothesis to explain traffic-related nocturnal cough
    Peter M. Joseph
    I am writing to comment on the paper[1] by Morgenstern et al. entitled “Respiratory health and individual estimated exposure to traffic-related air pollutants in a cohort of young children” The paper looked at the health effects of various components of air pollution as they depended on distance from major traffic arteries in and around Munich, Germany. I do not disagree with the data of that paper, which was obtained in a hig...
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  • Beryllium and Lung cancer: Study design artifacts
    David C. Deubner

    To the editor

    In their recent article (1), Mary Schubauer-Berigan and colleagues elaborate on a prior study (2) in order to examine potential confounding by birth cohort and hire age of the relationship between beryllium exposure and lung cancer, a worthwhile objective. The prior study is a matched nested case-control study that employs incidence density sampling to match controls to cases and uses exposure lag...

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  • Response to Markku Seuri and Jukka Uitti
    Simo Taimela

    We thank Markku Seuri and Jukka Uitti for their interest towards our article [1] and for raising the topics for discussion in OEM (eLetter posted 16 October).

    Concerning the first topic, the intervention in the RCT1 among the High Risk subjects consisted of 1) personal feedback of the health survey results and 2) an invitation to a consultation at their local occupational health service (OHS). The main purpose...

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  • Justice and fairness in the workplace
    Laura Punnett

    The work by Kivimäki et al (64:659-665) is part of an important tradition that aims to expand understanding of occupational psychosocial stressors to include issues of justice and fairness in the workplace, complementing the two most well-known models, demand-control and effort- reward. We applaud this work, while we also agree with the commentary by Renée Bourbonnais (64:640-641) that the existing conceptual frameworks...

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  • Crocidolite fibre clearance
    Nicholas de Klerk
    Cherrie et al, in response to McDonald et al's recent gas mask worker analysis [1], have suggested using a crocidolite fibre clearance half-life of 20 years. In their analyses, McDonald et al used a half-life of 10 years [1]. The best figure to use might be a half-life of 92 months, as estimated previously [2]. 1. McDonald JC, Harris JM, Berry G. Sixty years on: the price of assembling military gas masks in 1940. Occup Environ...
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  • Good review but caution advised to readers!
    Owen Moore

    Dear Editor,

    I commend Steenstra et al (2005) for their paper and its succinct systematic review of quality inception cohorts in the area of acute low back pain (ALBP). Many of the 79 items discussed have been long overdue such a review and I was quite surprised to learn that many traditional practice patterns (e.g. asking ALBP patients about smoking status, previous LBP history) might need some reconsideration...

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  • What was the effective interventio?
    Markku Seuri

    Taimela et al published the results of two RCTs 1. Trials are validly conducted, but two points need further consideration. Firstly, one should ask what was the effective intervention. Occupational health carried out three actions. Firstly they identified the high-risk employees, secondly they sent a letter of the intervention program only to those in the intervention group and thirdly consultations were given to those wil...

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