Power tool link to vascular risk

Blood vessel damage caused by power tools may vary according to how fast they vibrate, US researchers believe.

Vibration from tools such as electric sanders and drills can restrict blood flow, with fingers or hands losing circulation.

Dr Kristine Krajnak and colleagues from the US National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety assessed the effect of vibration frequency on vascular injuries in rats.

Higher levels of oxidative stress were produced by higher frequency vibrations such as those from an electric sander (125-250 Hz).

Higher levels of pro-inflammatory factors, which can cause vascular injury, resulted from lower frequency vibrations (65 Hz), as produced by electric drills.

'Workers should limit their exposure to vibration whenever possible,' Dr Krajnak told GP newspaper.

The findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2009 meeting in New Orleans.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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