CDC logoSafer Healthier People CDC HomeCDC SearchCDC Health Topics A-Z
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Skip navigation links Search NIOSH  |  NIOSH Home  |  NIOSH Topics  |  Site Index  |  Databases and Information Resources  |  NIOSH Products  |  Contact Us

NIOSH Program Portfolio

 

Manufacturing

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

927ZGCA - Exposure Assessment Tools for Airborne Sensitizers

Start Date: 10/1/2008
End Date: 9/30/2011

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Aleks Stefaniak
Phone: 304-285-6302
E-mail: boq9@cdc.gov
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DRDS
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed
5.0

Secondary Goal Addressed
None


Attributed to Manufacturing
100%

Project Description

Short Summary

This project will develop exposure assessment tools for airborne sensitizers beginning with crude indices of exposure potential and progressing to biologically relevant measures of effect. Successful completion of this project will result in tools for quantifying skin exposures and estimating skin barrier integrity in the workplace. Use of these tools will greatly improve upon existing skin exposure assessment methodologies and will ultimately contribute towards a reduction in occupational skin diseases.



Description

We hypothesize that skin contact with sensitizers can be assessed using measures of exposure and skin barrier integrity. We will use Be, Ni, Co, and Cr particles as model materials to develop tools for: estimating indices of exposure potential; measuring biologically meaningful exposures; and measuring skin properties (mechanical and physiological) as exposure-enabling factors.



The beryllium metal particles are from a primary production facility in the USA and working with these powders is associated with elevated prevalence of beryllium sensitization. The Co and Cr particles are from a hard metal producer where NIOSH conducted a health hazard evaluation. Additionally, the project officer is currently in discussions with Vale Inco, a global nickel producer with refineries in Canada, regarding collaboration to evaluate real-world process-derived nickel materials. If furnished by Vale Inco, the Ni materials will encompass several industrially-sampled forms from a refinery in Manitoba, Canada. Successful completion of this research project will result in a qualitative/semi-quantitative tool for estimating indices of dermal exposure to sensitizers, a quantitative tool for measuring dermal exposure to sensitizers (uptake), and adaptation of commercially-available instruments to develop a suite of tools for field-assessment of skin barrier properties.



Objectives

Over 3000 chemicals may cause skin sensitization, including industrially-important metals such as Be, Ni, Co, and Cr. The skin is an important route of exposure and initial site of sensitization for certain chemicals. Evidence is mounting for some skin sensitizers such as isocyanates and beryllium that subsequent inhalation exposures may manifest lung diseases such as asthma and beryllium disease. The purpose of this project is to develop exposure assessment tools for airborne sensitizers beginning with crude indices of exposure potential and progressing to biologically relevant measures of contaminant exposure and skin barrier integrity. We hypothesize that skin contact with sensitizers can be assessed using measures of exposure and skin barrier integrity. We will use Be, Ni, Co, and Cr particles as model materials to develop tools for: estimating indices of exposure potential; measuring biologically meaningful exposures; and measuring skin properties (mechanical and physiological) as exposure-enabling factors. Successful completion of this research project will result in a qualitative/semi-quantitative tool for estimating indices of dermal exposure to sensitizers, a quantitative tool for measuring dermal exposure to sensitizers (uptake), and adaptation of commercially-available instruments to develop a suite of tools for field-assessment of skin barrier properties.



Mission Relevance

Over 3000 chemicals have been shown to cause skin sensitization, including the metals Be, Ni, Co, and Cr (Karlberg et al., 2008; Santos and Goossens, 2008). Additionally, skin may be an important route of exposure and initial site of sensitization for certain chemicals that upon subsequent inhalation exposures manifests into lung diseases such as asthma and beryllium disease (Beck et al., 2000; Redlich and Herrick, 2008). Skin exposure assessment methodology is not nearly as well developed as for inhalation exposures because of complicating factors such as uncertainties regarding recovery from sampled skin or wipes and skin uptake. The purpose of this project is to develop exposure assessment tools for airborne sensitizers beginning with crude indices of exposure potential and progressing to biologically relevant measures of contaminant exposure and skin barrier integrity.

This project addresses MNF Strategic Goal 5: Reduce the number of respiratory conditions and diseases due to exposures in the manufacturing sector.

Intermediate Goal (09PPRDRIG2.4): prevent and reduce beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease.

Activity/Output Goal (09PPRDRAOG2.4.2): evaluate the effectiveness of a comprehensive preventive program that includes reduction of skin exposures at a beryllium manufacturing facility in reducing immunological sensitization to beryllium and chronic beryllium disease.

Intermediate Goal 2.5 (09PPEXAIG2.5): Conduct research on dermal absorption and dermal exposure assessment methods.

Activity/Output 2.5.1 (09PPEXAAOG2.5.1): Completion of a study to develop new methods to measure dermal exposure.

Activity/Output 2.5.2 (09PPEXAAOG2.5.2): Completion of a study evaluating dermal absorption.



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

 

NIOSH Program:

Manufacturing