Occupational Health 

2. Toxicovigilance:


Outbreak of a new occupational illness discovered by CEARCH for the first time in India

In May 2011, Dr. Aruna Dewan, toxicologist at CEARCH, in Ahmedabad, was asked to see an unusual case of pneumoconiosis at JivRaj Mehta Hospital(Ahmedabad) by a pulmonologist. This patient had been working for a chemical factory manufacturing poly acrylate and other polymers for 10-12 months and then she developed severe breathlessness. Upon investigation it was diagnosed to be a case of Pneumothorax with Pulmonary fibrosis. The patient also informed that some of her other colleagues, too have similar health complaints. Dr. Dewan sent a mail to PTRC( People’s Training and Research Centre) an NGO, to investigate the matter further. PTRC found 3 more similar cases who worked in same factory and had similar complaints. This NGO also visited a widow who lost her young daughter who worked in this factory for some time and then had similar complaints. All patients are very young, have had no prior exposure to hazardous material any where, were exposed to high amount of fine dust at work and were healthy when employed. It is learnt that there are few more cases who could not be traced. The only study reported in literature was a study published in Eur Respir J 2009; 34: 559–567 by Y. Song et al in a Beijing hospital, 7 young workers exposed to nano particles of poly acrylate reported shortness of breath, pleural and pericardial effusion.
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