Journal of Chemical Health and Safety
New Articles in Press, 12 June-18 June 2013
1. An examination of injuries and respiratory irritation symptoms among a sample of undergraduate chemistry students from a Public Northeastern University Original Research Article
Available online 22 May 2013
Aaron C. Sieloff, Derek G. Shendell, Elizabeth G. Marshall, Pamela Ohman-Strickland
Injuries have become an important indicator of safety and risks to health in the laboratory, but few studies have examined injuries among undergraduate chemistry students. Respiratory and mucous membrane irritation due to exposures were also important potential outcomes of present concern, because they were potentially related to factors such as physician-diagnosed asthma and smoking. The present study, with a cross-sectional design, implemented an anonymous online survey among a sample of students enrolled in general chemistry and first semester organic chemistry laboratory courses from a single northeastern university. Survey questions were assimilated from existing validated national surveys or developed (and approved by Institutional Review Boards) to obtain demographic information, acute injury status, respiratory irritation and mucous membrane irritation symptoms due to exposures in academic chemistry laboratories, physician-diagnosed asthma, primary active smoking, an!
d secondary passive smoking. A Likert-scale was created to assess behavioral risk factors (BRF). A prepared recruitment email was sent to 1,704 undergraduate students enrolled in either general chemistry laboratory or organic chemistry laboratory in the winter-spring semester, 2012; 319 participants completed the online survey during the 27-day data collection period (response rate 18.7%). Two hundred and sixty-five valid records were analyzed. Prevalence of current semester injury (11%) and also current semester respiratory irritation (22%) in the winter-spring, 2012 semester were elevated. Analysis of variance models suggested gender, course of enrollment, birth year, and class standing were significantly related to BRF scores. Current semester injury and also current semester respiratory irritation during laboratory courses were not significantly related to BRF scores. Current semester respiratory irritation during laboratory courses was not significantly related to asth!
ma after controlling for primary active and secondary passive smoking. Further applied research into undergraduate sciences laboratory safety and health evaluations are warranted.
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