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Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and furan surface contamination and chloroform emissions at a paper manufacturer.

Hanley K; Mouradian R; Kiefer M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1997 May; :77
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for a Health Hazard Evaluation to assess employee exposures to polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and furan (PCDD/F) congeners, and chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) formed as by-products during wood pulp bleaching. The survey included environmental monitoring for PCDD/F surface contamination and air monitoring for CVOCs. Surface wipe samples were collected and analyzed for the 2,3,7,8·tetra PCDD/F isomers as well as total tetra-chlorinated through octachlorinated PCDD/F isomers. The PCDD/F concentrations are reported as 2,3,7,8·TCDD toxicity equivalents (I·TEQ) using the 1989 International Toxicity Equivalency Factors. The I·TEQ levels from the wipe samples ranged from 13 to 651 picograms per square meter (pg/m2) in the bleach plant and from 86 to 1049 pg/ m2 in the paper mill. The highest PCDO/F contamination was obtained near the dry end of a paper machine and on a hardwood bleaching rinse tank. Surface wipe samples confirmed the potential for workers to be exposed to low levels of PCDD/F. However, all I-TEQ concentrations were well below the National Research Council guidelines of 25,000 pg/m2 for PCDD/F surface contamination. Area and personal breathing zone air samples were collected and analyzed for CVOCs. Mass spectroscopy analysis qualitatively identified chloroform, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, dibromochloromethane, and bromodichloromethane as the major compounds; these compounds were quantitatively analyzed with gas chromatography. Area concentrations of chloroform obtained near bleaching rinse tanks ranged from 1.8 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) to 116 mg/ m3 and were highest at the hypochlorite stage. Some worker exposures exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for chloroform of 10 mg/m3. A follow-up visit was conducted to assess the impact of process changes on airborne chloroform concentrations. Chloroform levels were substantially lower, indicating that reduced use of hypochlorite during pulp bleaching was successful in lowering workers' exposures below the NIOSH REL.
Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Employee-exposure; Employee-health; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Chemical-properties; Furans; Volatiles; Environmental-contamination; Monitors; Toxins; Gas-chromatography; Mass-spectrometry; Dioxins; Paper-manufacturing-industry; Paper-milling; Paper-mills
110-00-9; 67-66-3; 71-55-6; 56-23-5
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division