Contrast allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.
Allergic contact dermatitis refers to a condition in which the skin becomes itchy and it happens when the skin comes into contact with a material which is recognized by the immune system of an individual as foreign (EMIS 2009). The materials that usually cause this condition are known as allergens and the condition results following a brief contact with the allergens. Reaction to the allergen is usually delayed and appears 24-48 hours following exposure (EMIS 2009). On the other hand, irritant contact dermatitis is a non-specific form of skin reaction which occurs following long periods of direct contact with the irritant. It results following release of inflammation mediators as a form of skin’s response to direct damage by corrosive agents such as acids which leads to death of skin cells (EMIS 2009). Anybody can get this condition and sometimes reaction can be immediate.
How can occupational skin disorders be controlled?
Occupational skin problems can only be controlled by application of organizational, technical and medical measures. To begin with, measures should be taken to remove, neutralize, or replace products containing the agent causing the disorder which could be an allergen, a corrosive agent, or a carcinogen (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work 2008). Operations requiring constant skin contact with harmful agents can be automated to reduce risk of skin disease (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work 2008). Proper ventilation of the working environment as well as localized extraction ensures that risk of skin disease due to exposure to aerosols is reduced. Workers should be well educated about the risks associated with the products they are handling in addition to training them on how to handle them. Another measure involves personal protection for example wearing protective clothing.
Describe the responses of the respiratory system to inhaled dusts.
Large dust particles in the inhaled air are trapped by the hairs lining the nasal cavity. The mucus that lines the airways traps the remaining small particles and these are then propelled by the cilia and are either swallowed or are expelled from the airways through the nose by blowing or sneezing. In case large dust particles get into the lungs, coughing occurs and this is usually a reflex action. This coughing occurs following a rapid contraction of abdominal muscles in a bid to expel the inhaled air from the lungs. The dust particles that reach the lungs are attacked by macrophages or are neutralized by certain proteins that are produced by the lungs (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety 2002). Respiratory response depends on the site where the dust particles settle: in nose rhinitis results, in trachea tracheitis results, in bronchi bronchitis results, and in lungs lung injury results.
How is reactive airways dysfunction syndrome different from asthma?
Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome is also referred to as irritant induced asthma and it results following a single exposure to high concentrations of an irritant (Cormier et al. 1996). The affected individual exhibits symptoms similar to those of asthma and mostly the individuals have no familial or personal history of asthmatic attacks (Cormier et al. 1996). Unlike asthma, this problem appears immediately after exposure and has no latent period. It also differs from asthma in that it is persistent and not periodic. Another thing is that this problem is not an allergic response unlike asthma which is usually an allergic response to a given substance. In addition, the people affected usually have no previous respiratory symptoms unlike in asthma (Cormier et al. 1996).
What structures within the liver can be affected by occupational exposures? Give reasons for your answer.
The liver structures affected are the liver cells (hepatocytes) since they are the ones involved in detoxification. Their detoxification function makes them vulnerable to damage by hepatoxins in chemicals that get into the body following occupational exposure. In addition, investigations of liver damage usually shows interference of normal cell metabolic processes as is shown by cell death which results in necrosis, uncontrolled cell division following exposure to carcinogenic agents leading to liver cancer, and raised liver enzymes due to their release from the liver cells after the liver cells are damaged (Leikin et al. 2000).
Describe rehabilitation of workers with occupational kidney problems.
Rehabilitation of workers with kidney problems resulting from occupational exposure is important in helping the workers realize an optimum functioning level thereby enabling them to lead a better life. It involves dietary therapy to enable the patient maintain a good nutrition status thus they are able to prevent or minimize uremic toxicity thereby retarding progression of renal failure (Chau et al. 2003). Counseling should also be provided to both the individuals affected as well as their families to help them cope with the problem as well as any changes that may accompany the disease. Rehabilitation also involves Physical and occupational therapies to help the affected individuals use their remaining capacity to engage in work and leisure activities thus improving their quality of life (Chau et al. 2003).
What are the important components of the nervous system as applied to its responses to occupational hazards?
The retina is affected following exposure to chemicals leading to visual problems due to interference with receptor functioning. The parts of nervous system associated with hearing are also affected leading to reduced hearing function and at times complete loss of hearing function. For example exposure to lead leads to demyelination of eighth nerve (Gobba, 2003). Exposure to airborne pollutants damages the olfactory bulb as well as the olfactory neuroepithelium thus affecting the ability to smell (Gobba, 2003). The other component is ability to taste which is affected following exposure to chemicals due to interference with the transduction/receptor mechanisms (Gobba, 2003). The sensory function in the touch function is impaired due to damage of peripheral neurons by chemicals.
Apply risk assessment techniques to musculoskeletal injuries using examples
One of the assessment techniques involves determining which body part of workers is at risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries (Bust and McCabe 2005). An example of how this can be done is by asking the workers about the body part that feels sore at the end of the day. The other technique involves identifying the hazards present within a given job and an example of how this can be done is by asking the workers about the tasks that leave them feeling tired (Bust and McCabe 2005). The other technique is to identify the root cause of job hazards that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries and an example of how this can be done is by asking the workers about what they think can be changed to reduce the fatigue (Bust and McCabe 2005).
How is the control of reproductive risks different from other workplace risks?
It is different as it does not only affect the workers physical health; it also affects their ability to bring forth healthy children as well as affecting their mental health especially if it results in miscarriages or sterility (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2009). It is different in that in case a woman is pregnant, the preventive measures are supposed to protect both the worker and the unborn child for failure to do so results in far reaching consequences and this is in form of increased medical expenses.
What properties of carcinogens distinguish them from other toxicants?
Their ability to alter the DNA of the cell leading to cancer. Other toxicants do affect the cell but they have no ability to cause uncontrolled cell division. The other property is that their action in individuals’ body varies as they are influenced by the genetic composition of individuals (Coleman and Tsongalis 2002).
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