research landing

Occupational health

Our programme for Building Research in Occupational Health in New Zealand (BROHNZ) is funded by a Programme Grant from the Health Research Council. It includes five major studies on:

(i) the effects of exposures on new-onset allergies and asthma, and on lung function, in newly recruited wood industry workers (David McLean);

(ii) prevalence and risk factors of work-related dermatitis in cleaners (Jeroen Douwes);

(iii) modifiable risk factors for congenital malformations (Andrea ‘t Mannetje);

(iv) occupational exposures and occupational health in M_ori (Lis Ellison-Loschmann); and

(v) workplace exposures to carcinogens in New Zealand (Andrea ‘t Mannetje).

During 2010 we also received funding for two new Project Grants ($1.2 million each) from the HRC for studies of neurotoxic effects of solvent exposure (Jeroen Douwes/Neil Pearce), and cancer in meat workers (David McLean/Jeroen Douwes).

We are also continuing to conduct an HRC/DoL-funded study of dust exposure in the wood conversion sector (Jeroen Douwes), and we completed a DoL-funded study of asbestos exposure levels in demolition sites (Brad Prezant).

Andrea ‘t Mannetje and David McLean are continuing the development of a Job-Exposure- Matrix (NZJEM) which will be used to assess occupational exposures on the basis of work histories.

Andrea ‘t Mannetje also has a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for a study of occupational risk factors for Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), and David McLean has an NIH grant for a study of occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and risk of glioma and meningioma.

Andrea ‘t Mannetje is also conducting an HRC-funded study of dioxin exposures and health effects in former phenoxy herbicide production workers, and a similar study in fire fighters.

In 2010 Andrea ‘t Mannetje completed a survey of environmental persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in breast milk, with funding from the Ministry of Health, and obtained $1.15 million of funding for a national serum survey of POPs.