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Understanding vibration injury.
Riley DA; Matloub HS
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-003493, 2003 Oct; :1-7
The present understanding of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) suffers from the lack of knowledge regarding the onset and progression of vibration injury of cells and tissues. Repeated injury generates neurovascular symptoms and, with longer exposures, matures into an irreversible disease. Without elucidating these basic mechanisms, the foundation is lacking on which to develop early detection and monitoring methods, countermeasure techniques and exposure guidelines for protecting workers. The current thinking for setting exposure guidelines relies on frequency weighted predictions, which progressively minimize the impact of frequencies above 16 Hz, even though recent reports from many laboratories, including ours, suggest this approach underestimates damage inflicted at higher frequencies. A large body of literature implies that vibration injury is frequency dependent but the studies fail to reach consensus on the relationship. There are many reasons for this controversy. The most blatant is an oversimplified view of how vibration parameters interact with the biology and a lack of knowledge about the underlying processes. Our studies have made significant advances in defining the early events by developing a rat tail vibration model to invoke vibration injury of arteries and nerves, which are similar in size and structure to the digital arteries and nerves in the human hand. Exploiting this model has provided inroads to understanding the earliest cell and tissue damage and its relationship to the vibration parameters of frequency, amplitude, acceleration and duration.
Vibration-effects; Vibration-exposure; Injuries; Hand-injuries; Arm-injuries; Cell-damage; Neurovascular-disorders; Occupational-diseases; Occupational-exposure; Injury-prevention
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division