Heavy high viscosity oils, transformer oils, and very light low viscosity oils have been used in a Norwegian company in the impregnation, sheathing, and installation of paper insulated cables. The aim of the present study was to determine exposures to oils and other chemicals at these workplaces from 1920 to 1979. Oil mist was sampled on glass fibre or membrane filters and analysed by infrared spectroscopy. Oil vapour concentrations were measured with a direct reading total hydrocarbon analyser with a flame ionisation detector. The results suggested average oil mist levels of 0.5-4 mg/m3 and oil vapour levels within 10-100 mg/m3. Definitive exposure to asbestos occurred in sheathing until the late 1950s, whereas only minor exposure to asbestos took place in installation and impregnation.
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