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P111 Solvents exposure assessment of construction painters in epoxy floor coating workplaces
  1. Hynhee Park,
  2. Hae Dong Park
  1. Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Ulsan, Republic of Korea

Abstract

Currently, it is rare to find on-site studies for construction workers in terms of personal exposure levels to hazardous chemicals and possible adverse health effects from them. The reason so little works have focused on this group is that most of the construction workers is highly mobile from one site to others and they tend to be temporary workers, also their work environment is continuously changing in every construction sites day by day. However, construction painters work with wide varieties of toxic chemicals which can be absorbed into their body through the skin or respiratory system while they are engaging in their tasks. Activity-specific personal air samplings were carried out in 3 epoxy coating workplaces by using OVMs(Organic Vapour Monitors) passive sampling devices. Gas Chromatograph with Flame Ionisation Detector could be used for identification and quantifying individual organic chemical. The levels of Total Organic Volatile Compounds(TVOSs) by summing up 15 targeted substances were expressed in Exposure Index(EI) value (Exposure Limits = 1). In epoxy primer task, the geometric mean(GM) of EI level was 3.57. Ethyl benzene(EB) recorded the highest composition levels (39.41%) to EI values, followed by toluene (36.13%) and xylene(15.80%) for percent EI rates. For epoxy resin tasks, the GM of EI level was 1.55 and also EB recorded the highest composition levels(46.54%) to EI values, followed by toluene(30.10%) and xylene(15.95%) for percent EI rates. All evaluated epoxy task in this study exceeded the exposure limit of 100% (EI > 1.0). From this study, we recognised that the construction epoxy painters had exposed to various solvents including carcinogens and reproductive toxins, and the levels of TVOCs concentration in many of the painting tasks were exceed the exposure limits. Construction workers needed to be protected from chemical agents during the works by using personal protective devices and/or work practice measures.

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