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Iskra Alexandra Nola, Jagoda Doko Jelinić, Eugenija Žuškin and Mladen Kratohvil

Potresi su prirodne katastrofe koje možemo očekivati u bilo kojem dijelu Zemlje u bilo kojem trenutku. Učestalost im je veća u cirkumpacifičkom i mediteransko-transazijskom seizmičkom pojasu. Prate se nizom sofisticiranih metoda, magnituda im se određuje Richterovom ljestvicom, a intenzitet Mercani- Cancani-Sibergovom ljestvicom. Kroz povijest je zabilježen niz potresa koji su svojom razornom snagom odnijeli brojne ljudske živote te dramatično izmijenili okoliš. Hrvatska se nalazi u seizmički aktivnom području, što dokazuje niz katastrofalnih potresa, od kojih velik broj i na zagrebačkom području. Posljedice potresa najviše će ovisiti o gustoći naseljenosti i seizmičkoj otpornosti zgrada. Okolišne posljedice najčešće uključuju zagađenje zraka, vode i tla. Učinci takvog zagađenja mogu imati dugoročne posljedice na zdravlje populacije. Najdramatičniji, akutni, zdravstveni učinci potresa posljedica su rušenja zgrada. Pri tome brzo i djelotvorno medicinsko djelovanje ovisi ne samo o dobroj organizaciji i pripremljenosti zdravstvenih djelatnika nego i o spremnosti i opremljenosti civilne zaštite, vatrogasne službe i pripadnika Gorske službe spašavanja (HGSS). Tada će upravo dobra koordinacija između navedenih službi biti najvažnija, čime će se spasiti mnogi životi i spriječiti teže ozljede. Javnozdravstveno djelovanje mora se zasnivati na učinkovitim kontrolnim mjerama u okolišu kao prevenciji sekundarnih zdravstvenih problema izazvanih nepovoljnim okolišnim čimbenicima. Identifikacijom i kontrolom dugoročnih štetnosti nastalih kao posljedica potresa smanjit će se kronični zdravstveni učinci u populaciji. Najvažnije je istaknuti da smanjenje potresom izazvanih razaranja, budući da je rušenje zgrada najveći rizični čimbenik potresa, uključuje postavljanje prioriteta u izgradnji seizmički sigurnih zgrada.

Open access

Eugenija Žuškin, Josipa Kern, Jadranka Mustajbegović, Jasna Pucarincvetković, Jagoda Doko-Jelinić and Tihomir Bradić

Respiratory Symptoms in Fish Processing Workers on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia

This article describes respiratory symptoms and lung function in 98 fish processing female workers employed in a fish processing plant located on the Croatian Adriatic coast and 95 matching controls. The study included chronic and acute respiratory symptoms which developed during the shifts. Lung function measurements included forced vital capacity (FVC), one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and maximal expiratory rates at 50 % and the last 25 % (FEF50, FEF25). Chronic respiratory symptoms were significantly dominant in fish processing workers compared to controls. The most common chronic symptoms were hoarseness (57.1 %), nasal catarrh (51.0 %), chronic cough (42.9 %), chronic phlegm (34.7 %), and frequent chest cold (35.7 %). Exposed smokers and nonsmokers had a similar prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms. Acute symptoms over the work shift were high, with headache in lead (smokers: 62.5 %; nonsmokers: 56.1 %). Most of the ventilatory capacity parameters were significantly lower than predicted, FEF25 in particular, indicating obstructive changes predominantly in the smaller airways. These findings suggest that fish processing workers are prone to developing acute and chronic respiratory symptoms as well as to lung function changes. This calls for medical and technical preventive measures to be introduced in the work environment of the fish processing plant.

Open access

Jagoda Doko-Jelinić, Jela Lukić, Ružica Udovičić, Eugenija Žuškin, Iskra Nola and Zdenko Zajec

Workplace Noise Exposure After Modernisation of an Aluminium Processing Complex

The aim of this study was to assess to which extent modernisation of an aluminium production complex reduced occupational noise hazard for jobs with the highest potential of exposure. Periodical measurements of noise level were taken at the same workplaces using the same method, before and after modernisation of all plants. The results were compared with the recommended standard. After modernisation, the noise was significantly reduced in all sections of all plants. The greatest reduction was measured in the foundry. After modernisation, the portion of workplaces with excessive noise level dropped significantly (chisquare=21.315; p<0.0001) from 78.4% to 13%. Noise remained a problem in ingot casting and dross skimming section. In the anode plant, noise remained a problem in the green mill section where noise intensities generated by mills and vibrocompactors varied from 95 dB(A) to 102 dB(A). In the electrolysis plant, the portion of workplaces with extensive noise dropped from 77.8% to 39.3% after modernisation (p=0.0019). Noise remains to be a problem at the anode covering section where levels rise up to 100 dB(A). The modernisation of the factory has considerably reduced the noise level in the working environment of all plants, but it can not be reduced completely.