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P293 Pulmonary injury associated with a spray application of a water-based waterproofing product
  1. Paul TJ Scheepers1,
  2. Lucie Masen-Poos2,
  3. F Van Rooy3,
  4. Eline Van Dalen1,
  5. Robbert Cremers1,
  6. Hera Lichtenbeld4,
  7. Bonne Biesma2,
  8. Ismo K Koponen5,
  9. Soren Thor Larsen5,
  10. Peder Wolkoff5,
  11. Asger W Norgaard5
  1. 1Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  2. 2Jeroen Bosch Hospital, Den Bosch, Netherlands
  3. 3Arbo Unie Expert Centre for Chemical Risk Management, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  4. 4Nanosafety Consulting, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  5. 5The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract

Ten workers suffered from respiratory complaints after spray impregnation of hardwood furniture with a waterproofing product that contained a fluorinated acrylate copolymer in an aqueous suspension. One litre of the product was sprayed during 4 min inside a workshop area with a volume of ca. 2 400 m3. A worker, who entered the workshop 3 h after the impregnation, was hospitalised with dyspnea, severe hypoxia, cough, blank sputum, fever, tremors and tingling extremities. Later a severe chemical pneumonitis was diagnosed. On the following morning, 15 h after the impregnation, nine workers in an adjacent room of 1 200 m3 in the same building experienced the following respiratory symptoms: dry cough, chest tightness and sub-sternal chest pain. No other sources of causative exposure could be identified. Reconstruction of the spray application in a 20 m3 steel chamber showed trimethyl silanol, glycol ethers and fluoroalkenes as major volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The fluoroalkenes reached their maximum concentrations 1–2 h after application and persisted in the gas phase along with trimethyl silanol and the glycol ethers. Immediately after the spray application aerosols were observed in a maximum concentration of 6.3 × 104 cm–3 (5.6 to 560 nm). Mass concentrations were 0.095 and 10 mg/m3 in the size ranges 5.6 to 560 nm and 0.22 to 30 µm, respectively. After 15 h the mass concentrations of the airborne particle had decreased to values less than 10 µg/m3 in both size ranges. The worker who developed chemical pneumonitis was a smoker. We hypothesise that rolling and smoking cigarettes contaminated with fluoropolymer was causative. The respiratory symptoms in the 9 workers exposed 15 hours after the spray event may be caused by combined exposure to trimethyl silanol, glycol ethers and fluoroalkenes, which persisted in the gas phase up to 24 h after application of the product.

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