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Occupational Exposure to Coal-Derived Tars and Gases at Three Coal Gasification Plants.

Wallace WE; Cubit DA; Tanita RK; Regad ED; Costello J; Keane MJ
NIOSH 1986:69-72
A study of occupational exposure to coal derived tars and gases at coal gasification facilities (SIC-1311) was conducted. Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for benzene (71432), toluene (108883), xylene (1330207), carbon-monoxide (630080), hydrogen-sulfide (7783064), phenols, anilines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at three coal gasification pilot facilities. The facilities utilized fixed bed, fluidized bed, and entrained bed gasification technologies. Benzene, toluene, and xylene were detected only infrequently and at low concentrations, monoxide and hydrogen-sulfide were generally below their exposure limits except at the fluidized bed facility where spot exposures of 745ppm carbon-monoxide and 160ppm hydrogen-sulfide were found in a maintenance operation. Airborne exposures to PAHs were highest at the fixed bed gasification facility, followed by the fluidized bed and the entrained bed facilities in that order and consisted of two, three, and four ring PAHs. Higher molecular weight PAHs were detected by wipe samples but not by air sampling. The authors conclude that a potential for occupational exposure to PAHs exists at all three facilities. A potential for exposure to higher molecular weight PAHs exists even when they cannot be detected by air sampling. The authors recommend that industrial hygiene surveillance be conducted at all new coal gasification facilities for the chemicals produced or used in the process, a comprehensive medical screening and surveillance program be implemented, and strict worker cleanliness and good housekeeping be practiced.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-exposure; Coal-gas; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Air-samples; Organic-vapors; Toxic-gases; Industrial-hygiene; Coal-processing;
71-43-2; 108-88-3; 1330-20-7; 630-08-0; 7783-06-4;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
SIC Code
Source Name
The Changing Nature of Work and Workforce, Proceedings of the Third Joint US-Finnish Science Symposium, Frankfort, Kentucky, October 22-24, 1986, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division