Name of Department

Occupational Hygiene

Objective

  • The main objectives of Occupational Hygiene Division are to critically assess and evaluate the work environment, taking into consideration physical factors like heat, noise, illumination and chemical factors like dust, fumes, vapour and gases etc. and suggest or recommend intervention and preventive measures to minimize the levels of contaminant in the work environment of the factory.

Functions of the Department

  • To plan and execute the research projects to provide comfortable work environment for the workers.
  • To suggest necessary preventive measures to minimize occupational diseases in organized and unorganized sectors.
  • To develop engineering control devices to control the dust related diseases.
  • Environmental and biological monitoring of trace metals
  • To organize educational and awareness programmes/workshops for the workers, NGOs, Supervisors, Medical Officers, Factory Inspectors, Industrial Physicians and Safety Officers.

Details of Scientific & Technical staff

Name

Designation 

Email 

Dr. Kuldip Upadhyay
Scientist 'B'
drkuldip_upadhyay{AT}rediffmail{DOT}com 
Dr. Pawan Kumar Maurya
Scientist 'B'
maurya_pawan{AT}yahoo{DOT}com
Dr. J. B. Vyas
Technical Assistant
Mr. M. I. Shaikh
Technician 'C'
Mr. S. M. Parmar
Technician 'B'
 
Mr. Anil Kumar N S
MTS

Laboratory Facilities & Instruments

To fulfill above objectives Division has following facilities and instruments.

Facility : Dust free Trace Metal Laboratory equipped with Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (FTIR). This Division has also Digestion Chamber Treatment Room, etc.

MAJOR EQUIPMENTS

S.No.

Name of the Major Equipment 

Quantity

1

Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Make : Perkin Elmer, USA {Models : 3100, 373 and 800 (to be installed)

3

2.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (MIR). Make: BOMEM, Canada. Model : MB 104

1

3.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (MIR + NIR). Make: BRUCKER, Germany. Model : Vector-33

 

MINOR EQUIPMENT

S.No.

Name of the Major Equipment 

Quantity

1.

Selective Ion Analyzer/pH  meter. Make : Orion Research

1

2.

Spectrophotometer – UV Visible. Make : Spectromom – 361, Germany

1

3.

Analytical Balance.
Sartorius 0.1 mg
Metlar : 0.01 mg

2

4

Centrifuge. Make Remi. Model : R8C

1

5.

Muffle Furnace. Make : Tempo. Capacity 1200oC

1

6.

Microwave Digestion System. Make : Milestone. Model : Ethos 1600

1

7.

Deep freezers (-20oC)

1

8.

Personal samplers for environmental monitoring. Make SKC

12

9.

High Volume Samplers. Make: Netel Chromatograph

6

10.

Vertical elutriators for cotton dust

4

On going Proejcts

  • Biological and Environmental Monitoring of Chromium in Chemical Industry.
  • An environmental cum epidemiological survey in and arround chrysotile asbestos based industries. Sponsered by ministry of chamicals and fertilizers, Govt.Of India.
  • Assesments of feasibility of dust control devices for small soloca flour milling units in india. Indo-US collobration.

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Project Completed

  1. Programme on Trace Metals Exposure and Toxicology
    The work on Trace Metal Exposure and Toxicology was initiated in 1984 in this Institute, wherein, systematic study of Trace Metal exposure in the community and work environment was studied. The trace metals in autopsis samples collected from Civil Hospitals were also analyzed to find out the body burden. The trace metals like copper, nickel, lead, cadmium, zinc, chromium, cobalt etc. were studied in this project using sophisticated technique like Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). After this programme, division was designated by WHO/UNEP International programme entitled "Assessment of Human Exposure to Lead and Cadmium through Biological Monitoring". This prestigeous programme was successfully completed. In this programme, international comparison was made for lead and cadmium through Biological Monitoring. As a part of this programme, I also attended WHO meeting at Zagreb, Yugoslavia in 1982 to discuss the quality control results of all participating laboratories.
    Integrated Environment Programme on Heavy Metals Pollution (Phase-I & Phase-II)
    Integrated Environment Programme on Heavy Metals Pollution (Phase-I and Phase-II) was an exploratory study aimed to assess environmental pollution by heavy metals and possible human exposure to them. In this project, the information on the distribution of cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel and zinc in water, air and food was collected in urban and rural locations in winter and summer with the help of six national recognised institutions/centres. NIOH, Ahmedabad had carried out both the phases (1983-89) of this programme in Western part of this country (i.e. Gujarat and Rajasthan states) and generated baseline data on levels of seven above said heavy metals. The outcome of this project was publication on TOXIC METALS IN THE INDIAN ENVIRONMENT edited by C.R. krishnamurthy and Pushpa Viswanathan, published by Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Co. Ltd., 1991. In this book, all scientific data of my studies had been included and one chapter of this book had been written jointly with other eminent scientists of the country.
  2. WHO/UNEP Programme on Human Exposure Assessment Location (HEAL)
    Total or integrated human exposure assessment required the measurement of a pollutants through all routes from all media. The WHO/UNEP programme on Human Exposure Assessment Location (HEAL) (1989-92) was the first international attempt to make an integrated environmental pollution assessment. Pb/Cd, HCB/DDT and NO2 had been selected initially and seven countries, viz. Brazil, China, India, Japan, Sweden, USA and Yugoslavia participated. Chembur area of the Bombay city had been selected as Indian HEAL site, in which NIOH, Ahmedabad, was working as Co-ordinating as well as participating institute, representing India on this global project.
    • Global environment monitoring system - Exposure monitoring of lead and cadmium - 1990.
    • Earthwatch global environment monitoring system - Exposure monitoring of nitrogen dioxide - 1991. Report was also prepared for WHO/UNEP and Ministry of Environment, Govt. of India. Exposure monitoring of pesticides - HCB&DDT - 1992
  3. Quality Assurance and Monitoring Programme on Nickel Contents
    Director General of Health Services and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, sponsored project entitled "quality assurance and monitoring prts were medically examined with lead related specific biochemical and haematological tests. Alongwith this Industrial hygiene and environmental monitoring was carried out. Lead related morbidity was noted in about 30% of the high risk group workers. Suitable recommendations were suggested to reduce lead levels in the factory.
  4. Health surveillance, health status and hygiene survey of Modi Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd., Alwar, Rajasthan.
    Chlor-alkali plant is designed to produce caustic soda, with other products like Cl2, HCl, bleaching powder, TCE at Alwar, Rajasthan. About 300 workers working in this plant and exposed to mercury, chlorine, TCE were medically examined alongwith industrial hygiene study. Mercury levels exceeded the TLV of Cell House Division and occasionally in the close by areas. Mercury related morbidity associated with biochemical abnormalities were noted in about 25% of the high risk groups workers. Suitable recommendations were suggested to reduce mercury exposure in the factory at risk to establish prevalence of population related morbidity in Vapi, South Gujarat. Total about 5000 subjects from peripheral villages like Balitha, Chala, Chandod, Chhiri, Chharwada, Salvav, Namdha, Chandor, alongwith Vapi town, GIDC. Industrial Estate had been medically examined. PFT and ECG were carried out randomly in about 1500 subjects, while biochemical and haematological tests were carried out in 2000 subjects. About 600 subjects from Ambach village, as controls, were also studied. Overall finding of this study suggested respiratory impairment due to air pollution, but trend of morbidity and mortality due to pollution (air and water) will be assessed after final statistical analysis. In this project.
  5. Environmental cum medical survey in Cement Works, Himachal Pradesh.
    Detailed industrial hygiene study along with community environment monitoring was carried out in this plant to assess the dust levels in the environment. Dust levels were found high in bagging and loading departments of the factory. The respirable dust levels were found higher than the prescribed levels upto 2 kms. of radius from the factory. However, dust related morbidity was not observed in the workers. Suitable recommendations were suggested to reduce dust exposure in the factory.
  6. Cotton dust exposure in India
    Cotton dust exposure and prevalence of Byssinosis in three textile mills of Ahmedabad using median variety of cotton was studied in detail. It was found that Byssinosis occurs mainly in blow and card rooms. The prevalence of Byssinosis correlated well with dust (less fly) concentrations. Dust concentrations were much higher than the prescribed exposure limits for cotton dust. Later on, two textile mills with fine and medium variety of cotton were also studied. Cotton dust levels were evaluated with vertical elutriators also.
    Cotton dust exposure was also studied in four ginning units of Gujarat. Two units were selected from South Gujarat (using medium variety of cotton with low trash content) and two unit were selected from North Gujarat (using medium variety of cotton with high trash content). It was found that dust levels were much higher in Gins using cotton having more trash content (7-8% than the gins using cotton with low trash content (<1%). It was suggested that in addition to engineering control, the use of good quality of cotton (low trash content) can help in minimizing the risk of Byssinosis in textile mills because active agents responsible for Byssinosis are contained in trash content.
  7. Asbestos exposure in India
    Asbestos exposure was studied in mining, milling and asbestos cement factories. It was found that the exposure was below the limit of 2 fibres/ml in asbestos cement factories and in underground mines where wet drilling was carried out. In open cast mining also the fibre lends were found to be lower than 2 fibres/ml. But exposure was very high in milling of asbestos fibres (20-222 fibres/ml).
  8. Indo-US Collaborative Programme on Biological Markers of Manganese Exposure and Effect in Manganese Exposure Mines.
  9. A Pilot Study on Occupational Health Problems of Salt Manufacturing Workers in Little Rann (Desert) of Kutchh.
  10. Prevention, Control and Treatment of Silicosis and Silico-tuberculosis in Agate Industry.
    Agate industry has been primarily developed as a cottage or household industry mainly located in and around Khambhat, Gujarat. Grinding and polishing of agate puts it in semi-precious category of ornamental stones. During grinding of agate a large amnount of dust containing free crystalline silica (quartz) is generated in the work environment. Exposure to this type of dust produces not only silicosis but also predisposes to the development of tuberculosis. Recently crystalline silica has been identified as a carcinogen also. During preliminary vists to Khambhat we observed that this dust not only pervades the work environment but also goes to living rooms of the house as it is a household industry. Due to this family members are also affected and since most of the grinding machines are installed in verandah of houses, neighbours are also exposed to dust although they are not engaged in this occupation.
    There are two types of grinding machines viz. vertical shaft grinding machine (Bankada) and horizontal shaft grinding (Patia). Any shape can be given to the stone with Bankada whereas Patia is used for giving spherical shape to stones. Environmental hygiene survey at grinding units using traditional Bankada and Patia machines showed that dust concentrations were much higher than the permissible levels of exposure. Samples were also analyzd for quartz content by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. The quartz content to work environment samples was found to be 34.19 ± 14.54%. The particle size analysis of samples showed that 98% of the airborne particles were having sizes less than 10 microns. Air pollution survey was also carried out in the vicinity of these units at four locations and three control sites away from these units. It was found that crystalline silica concentration in ambient air in the vicinity of these units was 15.28 mg/m3 whereas the silica concentration was only 3.03 mg/m3 at the control sites.
    Medical survey was carried out in agate workers, their family members, community and control subjects. It was found that the prevalence of silicosis was 29.2% in grinders, 11.0% in family members, 8.9% in other workers (except those involved in grinding), 6.8% in community subjects in the vicinity of these units. Cases of silicosis were found in control subjects.
    To reduce exposure of silica dust control system was developed on traditional grinding machines (Fig.1 and 2). The system was installed at 10 units. The efficacy of dust control system was found to be 93.55% and 93.80% for total and respirable dust for vertical grinding machine (Bankada) and 93.73% and 90.21% for total and respirable dust for horizontal machines (Patia).
  11. Health hazards in and around silver foundries in Ahmedabad.
    WHO-biennium survey on occurrence of metal contaminants like lead, cadmium, arsenic and tin in infant milk and infant milk substitute sponsored by MHFW in collaboration with WHO

Publications and Research Reports

Miscellaneous Information: Unpublished Research Reports

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