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Retrospective chemical exposure assessment of laboratory workers at three department of energy sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Henn S; Tankersley W; Utterback D
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2004 May; :4-5
Since industrial hygiene records were unavailable for all three sites, duration of employment was used as a surrogate for the magnitude of exposure. Potential exposure indices were calculated for each worker using number of days employed at the sites along with weighting factors for job title and decade. Workers were then separated into equal exposure categories of low, medium, or high using the 33rd and 66th percentiles. 590 unique job titles indicative of a CLW were collapsed into 14 general job titles. Through interviews with current and retired workers along with organizational charts, responsibilities, and tasks for each of the collapsed job titles were assembled. Weighting factors of 0.01, 0.006, 0.003, and 0.0005 were assigned to these job titles representing the frequency of hands-on activities with chemicals encountered. Job titles with 100% hands-on activities, like lab technicians, received the highest factor of .01, while job titles such as lab clerks received the lowest factor of .0005. Also, weighting factors of 5, 2.5, 1.5, and 1 were assigned for each decade to account for improvements in laboratory technique, advancements in instrumentation, improvement in engineering controls, and increased safety awareness through time. Additionally, exposures were classified into four categories based on departmental function and chemical usage: 1) inorganic, 2) inorganic with routine mineral acid use, 3) organic, and 4) a combination of the previous three categories. Estimated magnitude and categories of chemical exposures will be used in epidemiologic risk models for this cohort.
Laboratory-workers; Qualitative-analysis; Mortality-data; Occupational-exposure; Laboratory-work; Industrial-hygiene; Engineering-controls; Safety-measures; Risk-analysis; Epidemiology
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division