American Industrial Hygiene Association journal

Skin absorption and protective gloves in dynamite work.

PMID 7415963


Serious health hazards have been reported from dynamite manufacturing during the last hundred years but many problems are still unsolved concerning biological monitoring and protective clothing. In this study, experiments are reported where ethylene glycol dinitrate (EGDN) has been measured in blood from subjects whose hands were exposed to dynamite vapors only or to the combination of vapors and the solid phase, with an without gloves. Strong indications were found that skin absorption is a major route of entry for EGDN into the body. Rubber gloves were found to absorb considerable amounts of EGDN and also to let it pass thorugh to the skin and the blood. However, rubber gloves with inner cotton gloves seem to constitute some protection if they are changed as frequently as once or twice an hour compared with only using cotton gloves or working bare-handed. Blood samples from cubital veins primarily were found to reflect the local skin absorption of EGDN and not the total uptake. Exhaled air was analyzed at moments of high skin exposure but no EGDN could be detected. Further studies of biological monitoring and protective materials are suggested.