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Assessing dermal exposures to epoxy resins in the windblade manufacturing industry.

Mattorano-DA; Dowell-CH
Occupational and Environmental Exposures of Skin to Chemicals, Stockholm, Sweden, June 12 -15, 2005. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2005 Jun; :1
This presentation describes a recent health hazard evaluation (HHE) conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) involving dermal exposure to epoxy resins. In addition, a newly developed NIOSH surface/skin method will be introduced. NIOSH was asked by a windblade manufacturing company to evaluate workers' exposures to an epoxy resin system used at the facility. Although, there are no validated methods for assessing exposures to epoxy resins, NIOSH used a combination of qualitative methods (colorimetric indicator and fluorescent tracer) to assess dermal exposures, surface contamination, and efficacy of personal protective equipment (PPE). Despite the use of PPE, NIOSH found that approximately 60% of workers monitored were exposed to uncured epoxy resins, mostly to the arms, hands, and torso, as a result of deficient PPE and contact with contaminated surfaces. NIOSH assisted the company in selecting better PPE, in devising PPE change-out schedules, and in educating workers regarding hazards of epoxy resins, limitations of PPE, and good work practices. Recommendations were also made to improve housekeeping. Finally, a newly developed quantitative surface/skin method will be introduced. This unique method is of particular interest because, unlike previous methods, cross-linking of uncured (or unreacted) epoxy resin is stopped. This allows for quantitative analysis of uncured epoxy resin components that likely play a major role regarding health outcomes.
Exposure-assessment; Skin-absorption; Skin-exposure; Skin-irritants; Skin-protection; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Epoxy-resins; Colorimeters; Arm-injuries; Hand-injuries; Hand-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-clothing; Protective-measures; Protective-materials; Protective-equipment
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Occupational and Environmental Exposures of Skin to Chemicals, Stockholm, Sweden, June 12 -15, 2005