49 e-Letters

published between 2008 and 2011

  • Letter to the editor on a recent publication titled “Occupation and male infertility: glycol ethers
    Peter J. Boogaard
    Sir, Recently a paper by Cherry et al. mentioned above was published in this journal (1). The paper reports the results of a CEFIC co-sponsored case-referent study on male infertility and occupational exposures (2). The study reported an association between male infertility and glycol ethers. We would like to describe several critical points in the analysis. These points not only pertain to the research question but also the a...
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  • A Time-Lag of Hospital Admission
    Jiann-Shing Jeng

    A Time-Lag of Hospital Admission To the Editor: We read with interest the study by Bell et al,1 who studied the effect of air pollution on the occurrence of pneumonia, ischemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease in Taiwan. They analyzed the correlation between the number of patients admitted to National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) and some surrogate markers of air-pollution. In the cerebrovascular disease,...

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    Bruce W. Case

    There are several reasons for questioning the apparent conclusion reached by Mirabelli and colleagues (Mirabelli et al. 2008) that their data provide evidence for the mesothelioma-inducing potential of what they refer to as “tremolite-free chrysotile”. Most of the reasons may already be well-known to the authors. No longer a traditional follow-up of the cohort study to which they refer (Rubino et al. 1979; Piolatto et a...

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  • Estimating the numbers of work-related musculoskeletal disorders
    Keith T Palmer

    We are grateful to John Hodgson for his comments on our paper. It was not our intention to investigate the overall accuracy of Labour Force Survey statistics. Rather, we aimed to assess the potential for error from one specific source, namely the impossibility of meaningfully attributing a disorder to work when: a) there are no special clinical features that distinguish between “occupational” and “non-occupational” ca...

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  • Estimating the numbers of work related musculoskeletal disorders
    John Hodgson

    Dear Sir

    I would like to respond to some of the issues raised by Palmer et al's recent paper "How common is repetitive strain injury?" and the associated editorial by Fred Gerr on the surveillance of work related musculoskeletal disorders.

    The central issue is that of the reliability with which individuals can attribute their musculoskeletal symptoms or conditions to work. The question would be easi...

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  • Outcome measurement may be misled
    Zui-Shen Yen

    The outcome measurement in your study could be very misled. Of the total admissions to National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), admissions through the Emergency Department (ED) are only about 40%, which is very low as compared with other hospitals in Taiwan. Most patients presenting to the ED of NTUH with acute ischemic heart disease, respiratory diseases or cerebrovascular disease would not be admitted soon or never a...

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  • 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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