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NIOSH Program Portfolio



NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

9278413 - Analytical Method Development for Emerging Problems

Start Date: 10/1/1995
End Date: 9/30/2012

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Kenneth Brown
Phone: 513-841-4364
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DART
Funded By: Environmental Protection Agency

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed

Attributed to Manufacturing

Project Description

Short Summary

The primary purpose of this continuing project is to perform initial research on emerging industrial hygiene sampling and analysis problems. Sampling and analytical methods are developed for inorganic/organic substances in air or other matrices. This project will focus on method research for chloramines, PAHs, metalworking fluids, chemical warfare agent breakdown products and the generation of organic aerosols. Expected outputs of this project include methods for a wide range of chemical toxins and a new procedure for organic aerosol sample generation. These methods will be used in exposure assessment and the evaluation of the effectiveness of control technology, ultimately resulting in reduction in exposures and the corresponding health effects.


As research opportunities for specific compounds or technologies are identified by NIOSH researchers or outside parties, the feasibility of the development of a successful method or application of technology is studied. Items that are considered for study are priority substances such as those in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limit list and the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit list or new analytical technologies. Also, compounds implicated by the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Sector Research Councils might be included. This is a continuing project and new research investigations may be added each year.

In the research area of isocyanates, projects include breakthrough studies using glass fiber filters thinly coated with MAP reagent and method development using LC-MS

In the area of organic aerosols, a new aerosol generation system will be constructed and tested for generation of known concentrations of metal working fluid (MWF) aerosols. Recently completed round robin tests of six laboratories for analysis of MWF samples indicated some issues with bias and precision for one of the labs. Using the aerosol generation system, known samples will be produced and investigated for precision and recovery. An FY09 NORA proposal was developed and submitted for this project.

In the research area of chloramines, four aspects of the sampling and analytical methodology will be investigated: analytical reproducibility, sampling media, analytical standards and humidity effects. For both silica gel tubes and filters used in sampling, the uniformity and consistency of the coatings (during application of the media) is of concern. There are some solubility issues with the filter coating solution which may lead to inconsistent sampling media. Chloramine standards are not commercially available, making recovery studies difficult to conduct. There is a lack of information about the effect of humidity on the sampler (tubes and filters) and sampling procedure. Finally, use of the most chlorine-free water will be sought to give lower and less variable blanks. Direct reading / field portable technology is of great interest for chloramines due to the complexity of these compounds. Thus, collaboration has been initiated with Syft Technologies for the evaluation of chloramines in air. An FY09 NORA proposal was developed and submitted for this project.

In the research area of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pyrene is chosen as a marker compound. Development of a sensor for PAH detection centers around spectrochemical sensors which partition the analyte into surface films for subsequent measurement via absorbance or fluorescence.

Under an interagency agreement with the U.S. EPA, air and wipe sampling and analytical methods for chemical warfare agent breakdown products will be developed using liquid chromatography (LC) – ion trap mass spectrometry (MS) and LC- triple stage quadrupole MS. This research is a collaborative effort with several other partners coordinated through the EPA National Homeland Security Research Center.

As part of a NIOSH interdivisional project, a team of silica experts will continue to provide technical assistance in building laboratory capacity in the Americas and other countries. Analytical support for exposure assessment to crystalline silica in mining, construction and other occupations is critical in developing countries that are seeking to promulgate more protective exposure standards for their workers. In addition, NIOSH experts participate in working groups (inorganic particulates, organic vapors, inorganic fibers and silica) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Technical Committee 146 (Air Quality), Subcommittee 2 (Workplace Air).


The National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced its intent to review additional agents, including metalworking fluids (MWFs) [Federal Register: May 19, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 97]. In collaboration with NTP, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART), Chemical Exposure Monitoring Branch (CEMB) laboratories obtained the 9 MWFs under consideration for the NTP toxicology studies. The primary objective of this research was to develop an analytical method capable of identifying the major components in these 9 MWFs. The primary goal of this project is to identify the major organic components in the 9 NTP MWFs and to provide NTP with this analytical data for use in their toxicology studies. To date, analytical methodology has been developed that allows screening and identification of a majority of components found in MWFs.

The goal of the aerosol research component for this project will be the development and refinement of techniques to reproducibly generate and deposit known quantities of liquid aerosols on filters for proficiency testing and analysis. That information will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. The technology will be transferred to AIHA or to the private sector. It is anticipated that particle size distributions in actual industrial settings will be emulated. As feasible, these techniques may also be used to calibrate aerosol monitoring equipment and to investigate the effects of co-sampled contaminants, e. g, welding fumes.

Methods research for chloramines will improve the quality assurance of the sampler and the precision of available calibration standards for analytical measurement. Elucidating the influence of humidity on the sampling and analytical procedure will contribute to best practice protocols for chloramine exposure assessment in humid environments.

Research into use of electrochemical sensors may provide a new approach to analysis of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons.

Mission Relevance

This project was initiated in 1985 to respond to needs for sampling and analytical methodologies to determine worker exposures to workplace contaminants. It supports initial research on emerging industrial hygiene sampling and analytical problems. Activities that begin mid-year or those whose scope does not justify a separate project are supported through this project. The methods developed and evaluated are for inorganic or organic substances in air or other matrices. In FY09, this project will support several investigations: 1) generation of organic aerosols, 2) development of methods for toxic components in metalworking fluids, 3) method research to ruggedize current sampling and analytical methodology for chloramines, 4) investigation of pyrene as a model compound for polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using electrochemical sensors, and 5) development of methods for chemical warfare agent breakdown products by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The methods that result from this project allow industrial hygienists, epidemiologists, and engineers to measure worker exposure. These measurements can then be used to relate health effects to that exposure, to determine engineering control effectiveness, or to determine compliance with an exposure standard.

The project addresses the following NORA Sector Program goals: 1) Construction, Strategic Goal 6 (09PPCONSG6) – Reduce welding fume exposures and future related health risks among construction workers by increasing the availability and use of welding fume controls and practices for welding task, 2) Intermediate Goal 6.5 (09PPCONIG6.5) – Evaluate hazard and exposure assessment research gaps associated with welding fume in construction. 3) Manufacturing Strategic Goal 5 (09PPMNFG5) – Reduce the number of respiratory conditions and diseases due to exposures in the manufacturing sector, 4) Services Strategic Goal 10 (09PPSRVSG10) – By 2015, reduce the frequency of injuries by 30% among food service workers.

The project addresses the following NIOSH Cross-Sector Health Outcome Program Goals: 1) Respiratory Diseases, Strategic Goal 1 (09PPRDRSG1) - Prevent and reduce work-related airway diseases; 2) Intermediate Goal 1.1 (09PPRDRIG1.1) - prevent and reduce the full range of work-related asthma (WRA), including work-exacerbated asthma; occupational asthma, occupational asthma; and irritant-induced asthma, 3) Strategic Goal 2 (09PPRDRSG2) -Prevent and reduce work-related interstitial lung diseases, 4) Intermediate Goal 2.3 (09PPRDRIG2.3) – Prevent and reduce "fiber"-induced respiratory diseases, 5) Cancer, Reproductive and Cardiovascular Diseases Strategic Goal 1 (09PPCRCSG1) – Reduce the incidence of work-related cancer, 6) Dermal Strategic Goal 1 (09PPDRMSG1) - Contribute to the reduction of occupational skin disease.

The project addresses the following NIOSH Cross-Sector Programs Goals: 1) Exposure Assessment Strategic Goal 2 (09PPEXASG2) – Develop or improve specific methods and tools to assess worker exposures to critical occupational agents and stressors, 2) Intermediate Goal 2.3 (09PPEXAIG 2.3) -Develop and evaluate new or improved methods for assessing environmental exposure to workplace chemicals and occupational health stressors either singly or as mixtures, including both prospective and retrospective methods, 5) Global Collaborations Strategic Goal 1 (09PPGLCSG1) – Enhance global occupational safety and health through international collaborations, 6) Intermediate Goal 1.5 (09PPGLCIG1.5) – The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committees (TCs) include NIOSH experts as leaders and NIOSH content in development of ISO standards, 7) Global Collaborations Strategic Goal 2 (09PPGLCSG2) – Reduce silicosis among miners, construction workers, and other workers globally by providing technical assistance to control exposures, by assisting with capacity building to develop occupational health professionals, laboratories and personal protective equipment programs, and by training to diagnose existing cases.

Page last updated: June 3, 2011
Page last reviewed: May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director


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