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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

October 2002

News from European Environment Agency

European Summer 2002 smog levels exceed critical threshold three days in four

Levels of potentially harmful ground-level ozone exceeded a critical threshold somewhere in Europe on more than three days out of four this summer, according to preliminary information compiled by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Ozone, the main component of summer smog, can cause serious health problems in humans and damage to ecosystems, agricultural crops and materials. It forms when certain air pollutants emitted by industry and transport react with sunlight. Ozone levels tend to be highest during warm, sunny weather, and are generally higher in southern Europe than in the north.

Human exposure to elevated ozone concentrations can give rise to adverse effects on the breathing system and decreases in lung function. Symptoms observed during smog events are coughing, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, headache and eye irritation.

Under a European Union directive, governments must inform the public whenever monitoring stations detect ozone concentrations above a critical threshold, set at 180 micrograms of ozone per cubic metre of air averaged over one hour.

Over the April-August 2002 period this threshold was exceeded in 11 of the 15 EU Member States and in six out of 12 other European countries that supplied data, a preliminary evaluation shows. An exceedance occurred in one or more of these 27 countries on 120 of the 153 days covered. June and July saw the highest numbers of exceedances.

The report was been sent for information to EU environment ministers for their meeting on 17 October 2002 was prepared by the EEA's Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change. The report is posted on the EEA's web site at

News from the USA

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been established since 1970 and is part of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is the only Federal Institute responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work -related illnesses and injuries. NIOSH has a very active programme of dissemination information and this recently issued compact disc NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards and other databases which are also available on the NIOSH website and also the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) web site have been conveniently brought together on a CD-ROM for those who do not have, or do not wish to access this data via the Internet. Internet web sites are also included for some of the databases for those wishing to access by this route.

Some of the databases in the CD-ROM are:

NIOSH Pocket Guide (NPG) is a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. it presents key information and data in abbreviated or tabular form for chemicals or substance groupings (e.g. cyanides, fluorides, manganese compounds) that are found in the work environment. The information found in the NPG should help users recognise and control occupational chemical hazards.

NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed. These methods have been developed or adapted by NIOSH or its partners and have been evaluated according to established experimental protocols and performance criteria. NMAM also includes chapters on quality assurance, sampling, portable instrumentation, etc.

NIOSH recommends that the best method available be used for making each measurement.

International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO)
Published by the World Health Organisation, International Labour Office ICSC cards summarise essential health and safety information on chemicals for their use at the "shop floor" level by workers and employers in factories, agriculture, construction and other work places.

Recommendations for Chemical Protective Clothing database is intended to provide assistance for identifying potentially appropriate types of chemical barrier material for protection against skin contact with the chemicals listed in the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. In the Pocket Guide, a broadly applicable phrase, Prevent skin contact, is used. In the Recommendations for Chemical Protective Clothing database, the author defines possible circumstances under which this phrase might be applied. These scenarios include damaging the skin directly, absorption through the skin and into the body, or concern for hand-to-mouth transfer. However, the Pocket Guide does not indicate in such detail the specific concern involved for each substance.

In summary, the Recommendations for Chemical Protective Clothing database should be used as a starting point for considering which barrier materials might provide resistance to chemical permeation as shown under laboratory testing conditions. When such laboratory testing data are available, it should not be assumed, that based on this information alone, selection of this material for use in the workplace will always provide adequate protection. For chemicals for which no recommended barrier material is provided, additional testing would be necessary to support any determination of adequacy after selecting a specific barrier material.

The remaining databases included in the CD-ROM are the following :

Free copies of the CD-ROM available from:
NIOSH, Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA | Tel: +1 800356 4674 | Fax: + 1 513 533 8573 | Email: |

News from Germany

Trust is good - Market surveillance is better!
Report in KANBRIEF

Today's worldwide trade in goods and services has reached an unprecedented scale. Manufacturers and importers are subject to tougher competition and increasing pricing pressure. This leads to more and more low-price products on the European market and more and more discoveries of dangerous products who do not comply with the valid safety standards. This subject which is very important to KAN. In the KANBrief 3/02 there is an interview with Dr Brandt Hamburg. There was also a workshop on the same subject, organised by KAN held 17 October 2002.

The same edition of KANBrief contains also the following items:

KANBrief also contains a brief note on EUROSHNET which is a steering group currently comprises the French Institution INRS and EUROGIP, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (FIOH), the British Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) The Polish Central Institute for Labour Protection (CIOP , the Spanish INSHT and representing the German contingent, HVBG/BG-PRÜFZERT and KAN. The first meeting being held October 2002. A key function will be discussion of the involvement of OHS institutions in EUROSHNET.

Further information can be found in the very informative quarterly KANBRIEF 3/02 published by the Kommision Arbeitsschutz und Normung (KAN), Alte Heestr.111 , D-53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany | Tel: +40 (0) 2241 231 3463 | Fax: +49 (0) 2241 231 3464 | Email: |

News from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

The following FACTS SHEETS have recently been issued by the European Agency:

Further information: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao, Spain | Email: | Fax: +34 94 479 4383

Titles you may have missed...

Autumn 2002 Catalogue

Safchem Services offer books etc that they publish or distribute including those for the various organisations such as the US Institutes - ACGIH, AIHA, ASHRAE and HHSC, plus instant references sources from organisations such as The International Labour Office.

Reproductive Health: developing partnerships in the study of reproductive health in the workplace

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has just issued a number of publications including Reproductive Health: developing partnerships in the study of reproductive health in the workplace. For more information or to establish a collaboration contact: James S Kesner, Ph.D, Reproductive Heath Assessment Section, NIOSH, Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA | Tel: +1 513 533 8208 | Fax: + 1 513 533 8138 | Email:

Exposure Assessment Methods: research needs and priorities
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Exposure Assessment Methods (EAM) Team has proposed definitions and prioritized recommendations for research related to the field pf exposure assessment. Proposed research falls into four areas: study and design, monitoring methods, applied toxicology, and education and communication. The purpose of this document is to stimulate new research in these areas.

Exposure Assessment Methods; research need and priorities
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2002-126. July 2002. 19 pages
NIOSH, Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA | Tel: +1 800356 4674 | Fax: + 1 513 533 8573 | Email: |

Programa de Evaluación de los Peligros para la Salud.
available from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2002-132. (Sp2002). July 2002. 11 pages
NIOSH, Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA | Tel: +1 800356 4674 | Fax: + 1 513 533 8573 | Email: |

Soluciones Simples: Ergonomía para trabajadores agrícolas
available from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-111. (Sp2002). July 2002. 46 pages
NIOSH, Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA | Tel: +1 800356 4674 | Fax: + 1 513 533 8573 | Email: |

News from the USA

Demand for Environmental, Health & Safety Software Still Strong, according to Donley Technology Study Interest in chemical safety compliance and training software at an all-time high

Demand for environmental, health and safety (EH&S) software is still strong, according to a worldwide study of 150,000 Internet users by Donley Technology. The study found a maturing industry, with strong market interest in chemical safety information, training, and compliance software. "The interest in EH&S software and databases continues to grow," said Elizabeth Donley, industry analyst and President of Donley Technology. "But despite the availability of several thousand EH&S software products, the market is still not getting what it needs. Many software developers have been slow to respond to changing regulatory requirements and have failed to recognise how technological advances, such as growing reliance on the Internet, influence market expectations."

The results of the study can be purchased in the report "Untapped Markets for Environmental, Health & Safety Software 2002." The report helps developers of EH&S software focus their product development and marketing efforts.

Study methodology

The study was based on the interests of 150,000 visitors to and

EHSfreeware is a virtual library of more than 900 software packages, databases, and interactive resources relating to the environment, health and safety. EHSsoftserve is a companion site that covers commercial products. Because of the popularity of these two resources, the study includes representatives from Fortune 500 and small companies alike, military installations, Department of Energy facilities, state and municipal government agencies, and more than 100 countries. More information is available in the study at

Contact: Elizabeth Donley, Donley Technology, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA | Tel: + 1 804 224 9427 | |

News from Canada

CCOHS new OSH fatality reports database on the web

The Canadian Institute of Occupational Health and Safety has made available on the web the Fatality Reports database, a unique collection of information regarding work-related fatalities. As a free public service to Canadians, the database provides a insight into the circumstances and causes surrounding occupational fatalities. Included in this collection are reports from Coroner's inquests and inquiries form many jurisdictions across Canada. These reports are form farming, construction, mining and logging industries.

As a training tool, students and professionals can use Fatality Reports to study accident analysis. Reports include the accident details, the industrial sector affected, the occupation of the deceased and recommendations resulting from the inquest.

Providing a wealth of information, the database provides greater awareness of circumstances involving dangerous equipment, unsafe work practice and working conditions.