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Estimating historical exposures of workers in a beryllium manufacturing plant.

Authors
Sanderson-W; Petersen-M; Ward-E
Source
Am J Ind Med 2001 Feb; 39(2):145-157
NIOSHTIC No.
20021863
Abstract
Beryllium is known to be toxic to the lungs, causing beryllium lung disease and associated with increased lung cancer risk. Airborne beryllium exposures have been monitored since the 1940s. This study describes methods used to measure airborne beryllium concentrations and how historical measurements from a beryllium manufacturing plant were used to estimate workers' exposures in a lung cancer case-control study. Airborne beryllium concentrations had been measured using all-glass impingers, high-volume air filters, and personal respirable and total dust samplers. To provide consistency in exposure estimates over time, measurements collected by the other monitoring methods were converted to approximate the most frequently used high-volume, time-weighted average measurements. Because industrial hygiene measurements were not collected in every year for all jobs throughout the duration of the case-control study, exposure estimates had to be extrapolated from the existing measurements over time and across jobs. Over 7,000 historical measurements were available to estimate beryllium exposures of workers over time. Average exposures between jobs varied considerably and exposures for all jobs decreased dramatically between the 1940s and 1970s due to major plant production changes. Although error in the exposure metrics for the cases and controls likely occurred due to limitations of the exposure assessment data, the exposure estimates for each job over time provided a reasonable, objective mechanism for categorizing workers by the relative exposures they were likely to have encountered during their tenure.
Keywords
Beryllium-compounds; Case-studies; Lung-cancer; Workers; Worker-health; Occupational-exposure; Lung-disease; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Airborne-particles; Airborne-dusts; Respirable-dust; Exposure-assessment; Author Keywords: beryllium; retrospective exposure matrix; lung cancer; case-control study
Contact
Dr. Wayne T. Sanderson, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA
CODEN
AJIMD8
CAS No.
7440-41-7
Publication Date
20010201
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
wts1@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2001
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
2
ISSN
0271-3586
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
OH
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