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Evaluation of occupational acrylamide exposures.
Hills BW; Greife AL
Appl Ind Hyg 1986 Sep; 1(3):148-152
A study was conducted on the occupational exposure of workers to acrylamide (79061). The authors indicate that monomeric acrylamide is a neurotoxin and a skin irritant that can cause erythema and peeling. NIOSH recommended in 1976 that the maximal exposure during a 10 hour period should not exceed 0.3mg/m3. Four domestic acrylamide manufacturing facilities (SIC-2869) and one sewer line grouting site were surveyed to assess the exposure of the workers to airborne acrylamide. The work practice and the potential for dermal contact with the chemical were assessed. The workers could be divided into the following groups: monomer operators, polymer operators, monomer material handlers, polymer material handlers, maintenance workers, and utility operators. The work of the six types of workers and the work on the sewer line was described. The study was designed to monitor all workers who were potentially exposed to acrylamide by collecting an 8 hour sample. Acrylamide vapor and particulates were collected on a cellulose-ester filter with a pore size of 0.8 micron followed by a silica gel tube SKC No. 226-10, 100/50, at a flow rate of 1 liter per minute. The airborne acrylamide levels ranged from 0.001 to 0.392mg/m3; the mean exposure level for the chemical workers ranged from 0.013 to 0.065mg/m3. Workers at a facility producing dry acrylamide had the highest potential air exposure, although a full face cannister type respirator was used in the most hazardous areas. Monomer operators had exposures twice those of polymer operators. Two utility operators had excessive levels which could not be explained. For the sewer line workers the exposure was only 0.002 to 0.007mg/m3, but the risk of dermal exposure was greatest for this type of worker and could be related to handling practices. The authors conclude that there is a wide variation in the work practice of grouters, and that the exposure levels among production workers is dependent on location or facility and not on job.
NIOSH-Author; Amides; Occupational-hazards; Exposure-levels; Chemical-manufacturing-industry; Neuropathology; Industrial-hygiene; Humans
Issue of Publication
Applied Industrial Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division