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The Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 52  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 187 - 194

Usage of Air Monitoring and Biomarkers of Isocyanate Exposure to Assess the Effect of a Control Intervention

Hakan Tinnerberg and Christian Mattsson    

Abstract: Exposure to isocyanates is known to have respiratory effects in workers and therefore it is essential to monitor the occupational exposure. An earlier study of a continuous foaming plant using toluene diisocyanate (TDI) showed that the exposure to isocyanates can be high. Since then several preventive actions were implemented at the plant. The aim of this study was to observe the effect of these actions measured by air and biological monitoring. Four workers were monitored in the year 2000 and six in 2005, with air measurements during the continuous foaming process, and with measurements of biomarkers in one plasma sample each year and with two urinary samples being collected in the year 2000 and one in 2005. The median TDI air concentrations in 2005 were ~20% of the 2000 levels and the median levels of biomarkers in 2005 were ~10% of the 2000 levels. According to our measurements the preventive action had a real effect to decrease the exposure to TDI. As the workers both before and after the preventive actions used personal protective equipment, the use of biomarkers was necessary to assess the real gain in the preventive actions.

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