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A field evaluation of a new end-exhaled breath method to evaluate solvent exposure in dry-cleaning shops.

Ewers-L; Petersen-M; Ruder-A; Burroughs-G; Ernest-G; Sweet-N
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :36
A field study was conducted using a newly developed, near-real-time method with a simple collection device and a portable gas chromatograph (NIOSH Method 3704) for estimating solvent exposure in the following-day, preshift breath of dry-cleaning shop workers. The purpose of this study was to document strategies for reducing exposures to perchloroethylene (PCE), a solvent used by more than 70% of dry cleaners and a potential occupational carcinogen. In this component of the study, PCE concentrations in workers' breath were compared with time-weighted averages (TWAs) calculated from personal breathing zone (PBZ) air samples. Three dry-cleaning shops and five workers participated. Workers were repeatedly monitored for solvent exposures one day a week using PBZ sampling; the corresponding breath samples were collected the following morning and conformed to ACGIH recommendations. Overall, PBZ-PCE concentrations ranged from 0.54 ppm to 94 ppm (mean of 26 ppm, n = 55); following-day breath PCE concentrations ranged from 0.18 ppm to 11 ppm (mean of 4.1 ppm, n = 57). A model was fit using the following-day breath PCE as the dependent variable and PBZ-PCE as the independent variable. Other independent variables were included in the full model and were iteratively eliminated if insignificant with a p-value greater than 0.05. The resulting least-squares equation explained 61% of the variability in the following day breath PCE concentration and contained PBZ-PCE concentrations, job title, and their interaction. This percentage of explained variability is similar to that obtained from data available in the published literature. However, the increase in breath PCE concentration per unit increase in PBZ-PCE concentration was lower than others have obtained using different sampling methods.
Dry-cleaning-industry; Dry-cleaning-solvents; Employee-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Field-Study; Analytical-Method; Analytical-instruments; Gas-chromatography; Ethylenes; Solvents; Sampling-equipment; Sampling-methods; Breathing; Carcinogens; Health-hazards; Breathing-zone; Time-weighted-average-exposure; Air-sampling; Biological-monitoring; Mathematical-models
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division