Research

Snacks improve shift worker safety
Australian researchers observing 44 participants during a seven-day night shift simulation, have identified the ideal amount of food for shift workers to consume to maximise alertness at night, in a study highlighting the impacts of night work on gastro health.

The researchers found those who only ate a small snack (10 per cent of total daily energy intake) during night work, like an apple or muesli bar, avoided the increased sleepiness and reduced vigour experienced by those who ate a full meal.  The snacks did not cause the uncomfortable feelings of fullness after a big meal, but were enough to stave off hunger. The occasional-snackers reported not wanting more food after a snack, and thought far less about food than participants who didn't eat anything during the night.
Read more: Charlotte Gupta, et al, Subjective hunger, gastric upset, and sleepiness in response to altered meal timing during simulated shiftwork. [abstract or full text] Nutrients, Volume 11, Issue 6, June 2019.  Source: OHS Alert

Top cancer journal warning on continued asbestos use
A leading cancer journal has warned the continued use of asbestos in many countries will perpetuate the human suffering caused by “this highly preventable cause of premature death.” The editorial in The Lancet Oncology highlights the record high asbestos-related death rates in the UK and elsewhere. It also criticises the repeat failure of the US to ban chrysotile asbestos, noting this was now being challenged in the courts. It notes “in the USA, ten states and Washington, DC, are suing the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to enforce strict rules on the use of asbestos.” Worldwide, fewer than a third of nations have comprehensive bans on asbestos, it indicates, with the related death toll inevitably set to increase. “The USA is not the only country that still uses asbestos. Although it is banned in 55 countries worldwide, many continue to mine and use it, with Russia and China among the top producers. In such nations, it still poses very real health risks,” the paper notes. “We can only expect the incidence of asbestos-related mesothelioma and other diseases in these countries to continue to rise unless governments act to address this highly preventable cause of premature death.”
Read more: Asbestos exposure: the dust cloud lingers: Editorial, The Lancet Oncology, volume 20, issue 8, page 1035, 1 August 2019. Source: Risks 909

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