Resources – Effects of Hazardous Substances

  European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for information on the classification and labelling requirements for substances on the market in the European Union The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have extensive information on hazardous substances including: Pocket Guide Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) Values GESTIS – A series of  veryContinue reading “Resources – Effects of Hazardous Substances”

Toxic Art – Alexander Calder’s Mercury Fountain

As an occupational hygienist, when visiting the Alexander Calder exhibition at Tate Modern last week I couldn’t help but stop and take notice of the pictures and description of one of the works created by this American artist well known for his mobiles and other “kinetic sculptures” . A mercury fountain. While I was lookingContinue reading “Toxic Art – Alexander Calder’s Mercury Fountain”

Information on hazardous substances–some useful websites

There is a lot of information on hazardous substances the Internet, but not all of it is properly validated. Finding the information you need just by carrying out a search using a search engine can be frustrating as it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. However, there are a number ofContinue reading “Information on hazardous substances–some useful websites”

Organic compounds – Health hazards

We’re running the BOHS Module W507, Health effects of hazardous substances, in Chester next week. It’s essentially an introduction to the principles of toxicology together with an overview of the effects of some substances encountered in the workplace. One group of substances commonly found are volatlile organic compounds (VOCs). They’re used for cleaning applications andContinue reading “Organic compounds – Health hazards”

Frustrated phagocytes and the fibre paradigm

These were a couple of phrases from Rosemary Gibson’s presentation during the nanotechnology workshop during the recent BOHS Conference. The fibre paradigm sets out the basis for the harmful effects caused by resistant fibres such as asbestos.  It states that fibres will damage the lung if they are thin enough to enter the lungs longerContinue reading “Frustrated phagocytes and the fibre paradigm”

BOHS Conference workshop on nanotechnology

In her Keynote address to the 2011 BOHS Conference, the Chair of the HSE, Judith Hackitt, mentioned nanotechnology as one of the “emerging issues” that HSE will continue to give priority to despite the cutbacks in its budget. Nanotechnology has been a high profile issue for HSE for a number of years as the productionContinue reading “BOHS Conference workshop on nanotechnology”

Pollution and human health

For a number of years now, in November / December I’ve contributed to an MSc in Pollution and Environmental Control, delivering a couple of lectures covering “Pollution and human health”. People can be exposed to pollutants by inhalation of air pollution, and ingestion of polluted water or foodstuffs. Their effects on human health can be DirectContinue reading “Pollution and human health”

The poison garden

I’ve just got back from a week’s holiday in Northumbria. It’s a region I haven’t visited previously I’ve never got past Newcastle before. It’s a very beautiful area with a fantastic coastline and lots of historic monuments to visit. One of the places I visited during my trip was Alnwick Castle and Gardens. The gardensContinue reading “The poison garden”

Mad as a lighthouse keeper?

I was up in the North East over the weekend for a family wedding. We stopped overnight and on the way home decided to visit the Souter Lighthouse at Whitburn. Opened in 1871 and operated until 1988, it is now owned by the National Trust. Standing in a dramatic location on the cliffs between the TyneContinue reading “Mad as a lighthouse keeper?”

BOHS Conference – Nanotechnology

I’ve allocated this week for catching up on reports, but I’ve also spent a bit of time reading through the notes I made at BOHS Conference in Harrogate a few weeks ago. One of the sessions I attended was devoted to nanotechnology.  This is a fast developing area, although as it is generally still veryContinue reading “BOHS Conference – Nanotechnology”