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Video exposure assessments detect peak laboratory formaldehyde exposures.
Ryan-T; Taylor-K; Burroughs-G; Kovein-R
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2003 May; :34-35
Video exposure assessments were conducted in a laboratory teaching comparative anatomy with formaldehyde preserved sharks and cats. Earlier work in the facility using time-integrated passive samplers indicated personal and area concentrations generally below the current OSHA permissible exposure limit of 0.75 ppm. However, complaints about the noxious nature of the room air were frequent and routine. Using a photoionization detector with an integral data logger, total ionizables present were sampled as a surrogate for formaldehyde. Using synchronized time tracks from the datalogger and video tapes created of laboratory actions performed, exposure concentration overlays were generated. Passive dosimeters and active samplers employing DNPH coated substrates reactive to formaldehyde were also collected on all sampling days. Video exposure assessment revealed significant, very short-lived peak exposure events, while conventional time-weighted average assessments indicated most exposures were below OSHA (and most other) limits. These "acceptable" exposure levels were associated with self-reported symptoms of burning nose and eyes, and eye irritation. Teaching Assistants' exposures were the highest, exceeding various OSHA limits on several occasions. Instructors' exposures were lower than students', despite longer exposure periods for instructors. Video exposure monitoring demonstrated that close dissection work, opening peritoneal cavities and specimen selection activities were most likely the causes of elevated student exposures. The utility of video monitoring to very accurately conduct laboratory exposure assessments is established.
Formaldehydes; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Laboratories; Samplers; Exposure-limits; Laboratory-techniques; Laboratory-testing; Surveillance-programs
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division