Displaying all 12 publications

  1. Siti Mariam Mazlan, Vivien How
    Pesticides are commonly used for pest control in oil palm
    plantations. The knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) while handling pesticides
    may potentially result in adverse health effects among the estate workers. The aim of
    this study is to determine the KAP of pesticides used and the capacity of selfreporting
    health conditions among workers in palm oil plantations. A crosssectional
    study was conducted to investigate the KAP and its self-reporting health
    symptoms by using questionnaires and face-to-face interviews to 120 male estate
    workers who use pesticides in their daily work routine in the oil palm plantation. At
    least 85.8% of respondents had a good knowledge of pesticide used, 46.7% of them
    indicated neutral level of attitude on the pesticides’ usage, and 68.3% of them
    demonstrated a good practice while handling mixture of pesticides. Overall, there is
    a significant association between the practices of pesticide usage with the selfreporting
    health symptoms, such as dizziness, excessive vision, cough,
    nausea/vomiting, redness of skin, difficulty in breathing, skin rashes, blurred vision,
    excessive sweating and hand tremor. More than half of the estate workers indicated
    a moderate to good knowledge, attitude and practices level of pesticide handling in
    oil palm plantations. This study suggests that the self-reporting symptoms are real
    and not over-reporting by workers. The increase in KAP of pesticides usage among
    these workers have highlighted the necessity to improve the traditional field training
    method of safe handling of pesticide to a sustainable field practical-based learning.
    The latter training approach is to engage theory into practice.
  2. Hazwanee Hamsan, Ho, Yu Bin, Vivien How, Zailina Hashim, Nazamid Saari
    Introduction: Tanjung Karang is a paddy growing town in Selangor, Malaysia. The paddy farmers in Tanjung Karang were using pesticides to control pests from invading the crops during agricultural activities with limited knowledge of its deleterious effects on their health. Objective: This study aims to (i) determine the respiratory health symptoms of paddy farmers due to occupational exposure of commonly used pesticides through inhalation and (ii) assess correlations between climatological conditions and the concentrations of pesticides in personal air samples among paddy farmers in Tanjung Karang, Malaysia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the occupational exposures to pesticides among 83 paddy farmers in Kampung Sawah Sempadan. The data were collected with face-to-face interviews with the farmers based on a set of questionnaire. Results: The self-reported respiratory health symptoms of paddy farmers were as follows: breathing difficulty (16.9%), chest pain (15.7%), cough (41.0%), phlegm (39.8%), and wheezing (18.1%). Simple logistic regressions analysis indicated that exposure to azoxystrobin, buprofezin, chlorantraniliprole, fipronil, isoprothiolane, pretilachlor, propiconazole, tricyclazole and trifloxystrobin were contributing factors that affect self-reported respiratory health symptoms in this study. Spearman’s correlation coefficient test stated that the concentrations of chlorantraniliprole, fipronil and pymetrozine were affected by wind speed and temperature. Conclusion: The information obtained in this study is useful to understand the exposure of pesticides among paddy farmers and useful for risk management in the agricultural community.
  3. Wen Min Yun, Yu Bin Ho, Eugenie Sin Sing Tan, Vivien How
    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a controversial plastics ingredient used mainly in the production of polycarbonate plastics (PC) and epoxy resins that widely used nowadays in food and drink packaging. Even though BPA is not involved in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) manufacturing, recent study had reported the present of BPA in PET water bottle. This study was conducted to investigate effects storage conditions on release of BPA from PC and PET bottled water as well as to assess health risks associated with consumption. Methods: Solid phase extraction (SPE) was used to extract the samples, followed by analysis using ultra high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detector (UHPLC-FLD). The possibility of developing chronic non-carcinogenic health risk among consumers of bottled water was evaluated using hazard quotient (HQ). Results: Results showed that BPA migrated from PC and PET water bottles at concentrations ranging from 9.13 to 257.67 ng/L and 11.53 ng/L to 269.87 ng/L respectively. Concentrations of BPA were higher in PET bottled water compared to PC bottled water across all storage conditions. Higher storage temperature and longer storage duration increased BPA concentrations in PC and PET bottled water. Concentrations of BPA in bottled water which were kept in a car and were exposed to sunlight were higher than control samples which were stored indoor at room temperature. Conclusion: No significant chronic non-carcinogenic health risks were calculated for daily ingestion of BPA-contaminated bottled water; calculated HQ was less than one.
  4. Nurulain Mustafa Udin, Sharifah Norkhadijah Syed Ismail, Vivien How, Emilia Zainal Abidin
    Introduction: An assessment of dermal exposure to pesticide mixtures among sprayers was made as a function of crop type, in four agricultural subsectors in Malaysia. Methods: The potential and actual dermal exposures for 160 pesticide sprayers performing pesticide spraying task were estimated by using Dermal Exposure Assessment Method (DREAM). Results: Results showed that there was significant difference between nationality (p
  5. Samer Al-Battawi, Yu Bin Ho, Mohd Talib Latif, Vivien How, Karuppiah Thilakavathy
    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous pollutants with toxic effects and adverse health impacts on general population. Several methods of extraction had been applied to extract PAHs from human blood samples such as solid phase extraction (SPE). The SPE represents one of the most common techniques for extraction and clean-up procedures as it needs low quantity of solvents with less manual efforts. Similarly, various analytical instruments like gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to measure the PAHs levels. Gas chromatog- raphy is a simple, fast, and very efficient method for solvents and small organic molecules. This review provides an overview of the measured concentrations of PAHs in human blood samples through the application of SPE and GC- MS during the last ten years. While these studies used various solvents, their application of SPE method and GC-MS revealed rewarding results about the determination of PAHs levels in the human samples.
  6. Noreen Adila Omar, Karmegam Karuppiah, Vivien How, Enoch Kumar Perimal, Sivasankar S., Kulanthayan K. C. Mani
    Ergonomics is a science focusing on the study of human fit, decreasing human fatigue and discomfort through the design of new product. Prevention related to workers injury and illness such as muscle discomfort is part of the main goals in ergonomics interventions. Thus, this present study investigates the effectiveness of ergonomic interventions such as footrest and floor conditions in reducing workers lower leg muscle discomforts during prolonged standing. The main objective of this study was to determine and compare the lower leg muscles discomfort (exertion percent- age (%)) of Gastrocnemius and Tibialis Anterior among the respondents using the two ergonomic interventions (foot- rest and anti-fatigue mat). About 60 healthy subjects were recruited to stand for 2 hours (120 minutes) while using the two interventions in different session with one week interval between each test session. During standing, lower leg muscle discomfort of Gastrocnemius and Tibialis Anterior muscles were continuously monitored. Changes in lower leg muscle discomforts over standing time were measured using the surface Electromyography (sEMG). In this study, the sEMG readings showed that the percentage of exertion (%) were increasing with time (within 120 minutes) on muscles for both legs with the usage of the interventions (footrest and anti-fatigue mat). However, the percentage of exertion (%) from the sEMG readings were lower compared to previous studies. The independent t-test was used to find the mean changes on exertion percentage (%) between each muscles of both legs for the two interventions. Results found that there were significant exertion percentage at certain time with 15 minutes time period within the 120 minutes standing. This study showed that the ergonomic interventions (anti-fatigue mat and footrest) gives a low number of exertion percentage (%), showing a reduced muscle discomfort to the lower leg muscles compared to previous studies and interventions. In comparisons with footrest, this study showed that anti-fatigue mat is more applicable for the assembly workers in the industrial factory. The data produced by the comparisons between the two interventions can be useful especially to the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia (DOSH) in enhancing the safety and wellbeing of industrial workers in Malaysia.
  7. Nayef Shabbab Almutairi, Shamsul Bahri Bin Md Tamrin, Ng Yee Guan, Vivien How
    Laboratory workers exposed to diverse occupational exposures to accidents. Evidently, extant, yet very limited em- pirical underpinnings suggest that knowledge, practices and awareness of safety precautions are uncharacteristically poor among laboratory workers. As such, their demonstration of safety-related attitudes and practices have remained questionable. This paper, thus presents a systematic search of the literature on laboratory workers’ safety-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Specifically, literature published between 2007 and 2017 that characteristically attempted to evaluate knowledge, attitudes and practices among laboratory workers on Occupational Safety and Health were reviewed. Evidently, results from the review indicate poor knowledge, attitude and practice among the laboratory workers. It is critical that strategies be put in place by the management of the health facilities to institute and undertake activities in the form of training, improved safety management practices, organizational commitment and improved safety culture.

  8. Safiah Rohaizah Mazlan, Shamsul Bahri Md Tamrin, Guan, Ng Yee, Vivien How, Rozanah Ab Rahman, Johari Basri, et al.
    Background: Quality of Work Life (QWL) is a subset of the quality of life which expresses the interactions between workers and their total working environment with individual or human dimension. Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of QWL among Malaysian workers. Methods: 2740 respondents (1921 males and 819 females) were randomly selected from 11 different industries from all states of Malaysia. Respondents were aged between 18 to more than 55 years and were a local OSH Personnel and local general workers. Face to face interviews were conducted in all the selected industries using a structured questionnaire form adapted from Malaysian OSH Profile 2016. Respondents have completed the questionnaire under instructions and supervision of the research team. Results: Majority of the respondents were male (70.1%) and from manufacturing industries (76.3%). 50% of the respondents identified a high level of QWL in each component like not having a stress with the work load (85.5%), good work environment (78.4%), family life (83.1% and 83.6%), enough income and distribution (58.9%), good communication and harmonies relationship between colleagues and boss (93.4% and 88.7%), good facilities (88.6%), welfare at work (71.3%) and productive working condition (80.8%). There is a significant difference between QWL and type of industries [F(10)=12.897, p=0.001] where agriculture industry had the highest QWL. There is significant difference between QWL and gender (p=0.009) where male reported higher QWL compared to female. Conclusion: These findings could be used by the organizations in order to enhance its performance, productivity, employees’ commitment and satisfaction.
  9. Nur Athirah Diyana Mohammad Yusof, Putri Anis Syahira Mohamad Jamil, Nurul Maizura Hashim, Karmegam Karuppiah, Irniza Rasdi, Shamsul Bahri Mohd Tamrin, et al.
    Discomfort measurement has usually been attempted by asking the participants to rate the scale of their discomfort which commonly termed as a subjective scale. Various studies had conducted the discomfort level on vehicle seat by using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Likert scale. VAS is a tool that use to measure a discomfort or characteristics in range across a continuum of values. Meanwhile, Likert-scale is a tool consist of items that require respondents to rate their degrees of comfort or discomfort with various declarative statements. Thus, the purpose of this study is to review, discuss and compare between the VAS and Likert scale used on the development and assessment of sitting discomfort survey in seat vehicles. The literature on various topics related to questionnaire development on discomfort in seat vehicle were collected from electronic databases. Four high-quality studies were eligible and met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Overall, there is no evidence and conclusion that neither visual analogue scale nor Likert scale are better to one another. Therefore, it can be concluded that either of this scale still applicable for the ergonomic research application as both of this scale have their own pros and cons.
  10. Putri Anis Syahira Mohamad Jamil, Nur Athirah Diyana Mohammad Yusof, Nurul Maizura Hashim, Karmegam Karuppiah, Irniza Rasdi, Vivien How, et al.
    Introduction: Malaysian traffic police are always working on the public roads to alleviate traffic congestion and therefore exposed them to the polluted air every day. In particular, polluted air containing PM2.5 is dangerous to their respiratory health as they can penetrate deep into the lungs, leading to bronchitis, lung cancer and many more. Hence, this research examined the relationship of personal exposure level to PM2.5 with respiratory symptoms among traffic policemen in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. Methods: 134 participants among traffic policemen were agreed to participate in this study. They were requested to complete a questionnaire regarding the sociodemographic back- ground and respiratory health information. The questionnaire was adopted from International Union Against Tuber- culosis Lung Diseases (1986). Personal exposure level of PM2.5 was measured using an air pump with 5.0µm pore size PVC filter. Results: The mean exposure level of PM2.5 among traffic policemen was 28.69 µg/m3. It was found that some of them possess respiratory symptoms (Coughing 33.6%, Phlegm 25.4%, Wheezing 14.9% and Shortness of breath 32.1%). There was significant association detected at p-value < 0.05 in coughing. Despite, there was no significant association in other symptoms such as phlegm, wheezing and shortness of breath. Conclusions: Traffic police were exposed to a relatively high level of PM2.5 (12.4 µg/m3 to 55.3 µg/m3) and showed symptoms of respi- ratory effects. Therefore, recognition of the risks connected with occupational lung disease and exposure monitoring must be a high priority. This baseline data can serve as a reference to the top management of traffic police officers in order to develop an occupational safety and health guideline for police officers as required by Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA, Act 514 1994).
  11. Raihanah Chokeli, Nur Azira Baharuddin, Vivien How, Nurul Syazani Yuswir, Shariza Afini Mohd Noor, Ho Yu Bin, et al.
    Introduction: The increased use of mobile phones has increased the mobile base stations (MBS) deployment. While understanding of radiation protection is growing among the public, questions regarding early-life exposure to ra- diofrequency radiation (RFR) from MBS in children are of importance as to whether it will raise the chances of developing chronic diseases during adulthood. Taking into account the sitting location of MBS, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the chromosomal DNA damage in buccal mucosal cells between school children exposed to RFR emitted from base station antennas. Method: This is a comparative cross-sectional study in which two group of school children were sampled i.e. exposed groups are children whose school located near MBS (200 meters); un- exposed groups are children whose school located distant far from the MBS (>200 meters). Digital RF Analyzer was used to measure RFR at the school surrounding. Buccal mucosa cells from the oral cavity were sampled to examine the level of micronuclei (MN) frequencies. Results: This study found that the densities of the RFR energy differed in range. Although all measurements showed the RFR reading below the acceptable exposure level, there were still sig- nificant variations at each location assessed. Statistically, the MN frequency is significantly different when compared to the exposed and non-exposed group. Conclusion: To understand the mechanism of health effects from exposure to low-level RFR emited from MBS, further study should consider environmental factors influencing MBS sitting on RFR emission, as well as examining the health effects into molecular levels.
  12. Sharifah Norkhadijah Syed Ismail, Emilia Zainal Abidin, Zailina Hashim, Irniza Rasdi, Vivien How, Praveena, Sarva Mangala, et al.
    Flood is a natural disaster cause by heavy rainfall and high tide phenomenon. In the event of flood, substantial amount of wastes tend to be moved away and washed with mud that cause the task of waste recovering extremely challenging. The objective of the study was to assess flood victims participation, duration and major problem arise during post flood waste clean-up activity together with respondent’s knowledge and psychological importance in the recovery process. Methods: A cross sectional survey using interview and self-administered questionnaire was conducted involving 150 flood victims in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, who were heavily affected by the recent flood. Results: Respondents participation in the clean-up process was high (N = 126, 84%). Average 1 to 3 months were taken for the clean-up activity. Majority of the respondents had low and moderate satisfaction on the cleaning service provided by the authority (N = 84, 56%). Major problem arises from the past flood waste clean up activity was the biased waste removal process (N = 124, 83%), victims have to find alternative ways for disposal (N = 108, 72%) and the temporary disposal site were located near to the housing area that creates discomfort (N = 105, 70%). The correlation test obtained significant relationship between knowledge and education level (X2 = 0.203, p=0.013). But no significant relationship was obtained between knowledge with gender, age, monthly income, duration of clean-up process, respondents participation and satisfaction. Conclusion: Disaster debris management and disposal is critically important to support the victims in their recovery process.
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