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Exposure assessment to alpha- and beta-pinene, delta(3)-carene and wood dust in industrial production of wood pellets
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
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2003 (English)In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 47, no 3, p. 219-226Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main aim of the study was to measure the exposure to monoterpenes (alpha- and beta-pinene and Delta(3)-carene) and wood dust during industrial production of wood pellets and briquettes. Additional aims were to compare the results from wood dust sampled on a filter with real time measurements using a direct reading instrument and to identify peak exposures to dust. Twenty-four men working at six companies involved in industrial production of wood pellets and briquettes participated in the study. Monoterpenes were measured by diffusive sampling and wood dust was measured as total dust. A data logger (DataRAM) was used for continuous monitoring of dust concentration for 18 of the participants. The sampling time was approximately 8 h. The personal exposure to monoterpenes ranged from 0.64 to 28 mg/m(3) and a statistically significant (Kruskal-Wallis test, P = 0.0002) difference in levels of monoterpenes for workers at different companies was seen. In the companies the personal exposure to wood dust varied between 0.16 and 19 mg/m(3) and for 10 participants the levels exceeded the present Swedish occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 2 mg/m(3). The levels of wood dust during the morning shift were significantly (Mann-Whitney test, P = 0.04) higher compared with the afternoon shift. Continuous registration of dust concentration showed peak values for several working operations, especially cleaning of truck engines with compressed air. For 24 workers in six companies involved in industrial production of wood pellets the personal exposure to monoterpenes was low and to wood dust high compared with the present Swedish OEL and previous studies in Swedish wood industries. Since the DataRAM can identify critical working tasks with high wood dust exposure a reduction in exposure levels could probably be achieved by changes in working routines and by the use of protective equipment

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 47, no 3, p. 219-226
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Research subject
Enviromental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2859PubMedID: 12639835OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-2859DiVA, id: diva2:135364
Available from: 2008-02-01 Created: 2008-02-01 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Occupational exposure during production of wood pellets in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Occupational exposure during production of wood pellets in Sweden
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aims of the studies underlying this thesis were to assess workers’ air exposure to wood dust and various chemicals, and to evaluate the variability in exposure and occupational dermal exposure to resin acids during the production of wood pellets in Sweden. Personal air measurements of wood dust, monoterpenes, resin acids and nitrogen dioxide (as a marker of diesel exhaust), accompanied by area measurements of these substances, VOCs and carbon monoxide, were performed at up to ten plants. Repeated measurements were also performed to evaluate within- and between-worker variability, determinants of exposure, the probability that a worker’s mean exposure exceeded the occupational exposure limit, OEL (overexposure), and the bias in the exposure-response relationship (attenuation).

Dermal exposure was measured at the forehead, neck, forearm and hand using a tape-stripping method, in which a strip of adhesive tape is applied to the skin and then removed along with the outermost layer of the skin and chemicals adsorbed to this layer. The workers’ exposure to wood dust was high (mean: 2.4 mg/m3), with 35−42 % of the measurements above the Swedish OEL of 2 mg/m3. The exposure is also classified as unacceptable due to the calculated levels of overexposure. Exposure to resin acids like 7-oxodehydroabietic acid and dehydroabietic acid was identified, which has not been previously observed in the wood industry, with mean sum levels of 2.4 _g/m3. Levels of monoterpenes, nitrogen dioxide, VOCs and carbon monoxide were all below their Swedish OELs. A factor that influenced the level of exposure to wood dust and resin acids was the nature of the work done, notably cleaning operations, like sweeping, which increased the exposure slightly. The attenuation was high for the individual-based model, and at least 12 repeated measurements were needed to yield a bias in the exposureresponse relationship of _10 %. The results also showed that dermal exposure to resin acids occurs in these plants, which has not been shown before, and provided indications of both increased exposure during a work shift and diffusion into the skin. The main conclusion is that wood dust exposure at these levels is likely to have implications for the workers’ health in the long run, and, therefore, it is important to reduce exposure to wood dust in this industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2008. p. 75
Series
Örebro Studies in Environmental Science, ISSN 1650-6278 ; 11
Keywords
Occupational hygiene, wood dust, resin acids, VOC, variability, determinant of exposure, overexposure, dermal exposure
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Research subject
Enviromental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-1726 (URN)978-91-7668-571-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-02-22, Wilandersalen, M-huset, Universitetssjukhuset, Örebro, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-02-01 Created: 2008-02-01 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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