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Charcoal tubes vs. passive dosimetry for perchloroethylene: a comparison of two methods.

Almaguer D; Shulman S
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :90
PERC is a known animal carcinogen and is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable human carcinogen. The subject of this paper is a comparison of charcoal tube sampling versus passive dosimetry. Both sampling methods were used to assess worker exposures to perchloroethylene (PERC) during vapor degreasing; a process commonly used to remove grease, oil, temporary coatings, and dirt or other solids from all types of metal and solvent resistant plastics. A similiar study comparing the two sampling methods was conducted by researchers investigating PERC exposures in the dry-cleaning industry. Passive dosimetry is a relatively easy, inexpensive method of sampling which could prove useful to companies utilizing vapor degreaser technologies. To allow for a direct comparison of the two sampling methods, personal breathing-zone samples were collected using charcoal tubes and passive dosimeters during a series of six sampling surveys. Worker exposures were measured by placing a passive dosimeter and a solid sorbent, coconut shell, charcoal tube connected to a battery-operated sampling pump in the worker's breathing-zone. All samples were analyzed via NIOSH Analytical Method 1003. Statistical analyses indicated that, on average, the difference between the two sampling methods was not statistically significant (5% significance level). However, statistical tests suggested that at the highest concentration levels (25 to 40 ppm), the charcoal tube concentrations were about 0.5 ppm higher than the passive monitor, while at the lower concentrations (0.1 to 2 ppm) charcoal tubes were about 0.2 ppm lower, each result statistically significant at the 5% level. Thus, it appears that the differences identified as statistically significant are not large enough to be of practical importance. While these results are similar to the dry-cleaning study at the lower concentrations, the result do differ in that the passive dosimeters gave lower readings at the higher concentrations.
Dosimetry; Carcinogens; Humans; Animals; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Workers; Exposure-levels; Analytical-methods; Solvents; Solvent-vapors; Solvent-vapor-degreasing; Dry-cleaning-industry; Dry-cleaning-solvents
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division