Aim of the course
The field of occupational toxicology covers the use of chemicals in a workplace setting and includes the study of both raw materials and process emissions as possible hazards to human health. Work-related exposures are studied by use of inhalation and skin exposure monitoring as well as biomarkers of exposure, susceptibility and effect, usually as part of epidemiological exposures. Results of such studies and also from experimental exposure studies contribute to the setting of workplace standards to prevent work-related intoxications and occupational disease.
Content of the course
A general background on the methodology in the field of occupational toxicology will be provided with an important role of occupational hygiene, epidemiology and medicine. Much attention will be given to methods of exposure assessment such as characterization of inhalation and dermal exposures and the use of biomarkers to study uptake of industrial chemical. Some lectures will cover specific areas like the use of omics approaches and specific groups of chemicals relevant to workplace exposures like the toxicology of amines, metals, nano-sized particles and of complex toxic process emissions (e.g. engine exhaust, rubber manufacturing and welding fumes).
Trainings will be provided to develop skills in the interpretation information about the chemical composition of industrial products and process emissions (hazard assessment) using different approaches such as data-mining and structure activity relationships (SARs). The process of skin absorption will also be studied in a computer training. Modelling of dose-response relationships will be used to derive a safe level for workers using data from small scale experimental (animal or volunteer) studies. Several days will be reserved for field trips to visit several industrial sites in the Ruhr area, showing both traditional activities such as mining and also modern-technology production facilities for production of bulk and fine chemicals.
List of subjects
– Hazard assessment of industrial chemicals by data-mining and SAR-modelling
– Characterization of inhalation and dermal exposures
– Characterization of internal exposure by biological monitoring
– Inhalation toxicology of (nano-sized) particles
– Determination of skin absorption by quantitative SAR-modelling
– Toxicology of industrial chemicals (irritants, sensitizers, corrosives, etc.)
– Carcinogens, mutagens and reproduction toxic substances (CMR-substances)
– Biological agents and occupational allergies
– Setting of occupational exposure standards
– Workplace intoxications and occupational disease
– Prevention strategies and occupational hygiene
Outcomes (competences, skills)
The participant is aware of the:
• Most important chemical/biological risk factors encountered on the workplace and their toxic mechanisms of action;
• Current developments in the field of scientific research applicable to occupational toxicology;
• Methods that can be used to perform a quantitative health risk assessment on the workplace.
The participant is able to:
• Perform an initial toxicological hazard assessment of the toxicity of and industrial chemical product;
• Derive a safe health-based occupational exposure level for workers exposed to a specific toxic substance using published dose response data;
• Use a quantitative structure activity relationship for an initial semi-quantitative assessment of skin absorption.
A written exam at the end of the module.
Coordinator: Dr.ir. P.T.J. Scheepers; Prof.dr. J.G. Hengstler
Duration: 2 weeks
ECTS credits: 3
Number of participants: 10-15
Period: for exact dates, please consult the current programme schedule
Fee: see tuition fees (includes reduced fees for PhD students)
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands (week 1)
Location: Dortmund, Germany (week 2)