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The Annals of occupational hygiene

Workers' dermal exposure to UV-curable acrylates in the furniture and Parquet industry.


PMID 11108785

Abstract

The use of ultraviolet radiation-curable coatings (UV-coatings) has increased rapidly in the parquet and furniture industry. Work with UV-coatings involves risk from skin exposure to chemically reactive, concentrated acrylates that are known skin contact irritants and sensitizers. Yet, the methods and tools for measuring and quantifying dermal exposure from hazardous chemicals directly on the skin are limited and methods to measure skin exposure to UV-coatings in occupational or environmental settings have been lacking. Skin exposure to UV-coatings was measured employing a quantitative tape stripping method that we have developed for this purpose. A pilot study was performed at three workplaces. In the main study, workers' skin exposure to uncured UV-coatings was measured at seven workplaces and on two separate workdays (rounds 1 and 2) within a six-month period to determine exposure variation. Skin exposure was measured at four standardized sites on the hand, 3-4 times per work shift. The forehead was sampled once. A questionnaire was carried out with the workers in both rounds to find out factors that can affect skin exposure to UV-coatings. The pilot study indicated that both skin and surface contamination to TPGDA-containing UV-coatings were common and varied up to 2110 microgram on the sampling area of 10cm(2). In the main study skin contamination due to TPGDA was found on 16 of 23 workers, at 6 out of the 7 workplaces, and from 36 (5. 4%) of the 664 samples. In round one 8.6% (n=383) of the samples contained TPGDA and in round two 1.1 % (n=281). The average TPGDA mass on all the positive samples (n=36) was 30.4+/-77.0 microgram for the first and second rounds alone this mass was 30.6+/-80 (n=33) and 28.3+/-16.5 microgram (n=3), respectively. Despite the limited sampling area and sampling sites, we could find residues of TPGDA at all sampling times, even at the beginning of the work shift. This may be due to transfer of UV-coatings through contaminated equipment, shoes and surfaces. Our study indicates that there is a risk of harmful skin exposure to UV-coatings in the furniture and parquet industry.

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