Comprehensive Assessment of Occupationally Relevant Exposures
NIEHS is coordinating an NTP effort with NIOSH to better understand worker exposures, identify occupational health research gaps, and educate workers. The NIEHS and NIOSH interagency agreement supports these projects. The FY 2018 efforts listed below address worker exposures to welding fumes, nanosized materials, food flavorings, and other industrial chemicals.
NIOSH mobile lab for field studies
Study Scientist: Elizabeth Whelan
Under this project, support is being provided to NIOSH scientists for (1) participating in review and oversight of NTP activities and (2) attending NTP-related meetings at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, NC, and Washington, DC.
Study Scientist: Kevin Hanley
In this characterization of welding fume exposures, with a focus on manganese, welders’ exposures to total and respirable manganese were evaluated using a novel sequential chemical extraction method to (1) identify industries, such as construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing companies, and unions, involved in welding operations for which the potential for substantial manganese exposure exists; (2) develop methods to identify manganese compounds and different oxidation states based on selective solubility with various welding fume matrices; and (3) characterize welding fume exposures based on welding-associated jobs, tasks, and processes.
To date, three manuscripts have been published (and a fourth has been submitted to a journal) that demonstrated excessive manganese exposures associated with welding fumes, often exceeding Threshold Limit Values of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH TLVs) by an order of magnitude.
Study Scientist: Charles Geraci
This identification of workplaces engaged in the synthesis, manufacture, and use of engineered nanomaterials is characterizing workplace exposures to selected engineered nanoparticles.
Study Scientist: Aleksandr Stefaniak
This project is investigating the in vitro durability of nanocellulose materials in artificial lung fluids. Data generated from this study will be used to inform larger in vivo inhalation studies.
Study Scientist: Cheryl Estill
This study is comparing exposures among industries, processes, and tasks; determining the routes of exposure; and making recommendations to reduce exposures.
These data will be used to determine exposure levels of workers in different occupations and how they relate to the general population by comparison to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. The results will aid in the design, understanding, and use of toxicological studies and risk assessment.
Exposure has been assessed at 19 facilities involved in the manufacture, installation, or use of goods containing these flame retardants. Worksite categories included are manufacture of products that use flexible polyurethane foams; fabrication and manufacture of rigid polystyrene foam; cutting, installing, or spraying polyurethane foam insulation at construction sites; gymnasiums; nail salons; and the fire service industry.
Study Scientist: Kevin Hanley
This study focuses on the assessment of occupational exposure to PAHs among coal tar sealant workers. Currently, no data are available in the scientific literature on exposure to PAHs and their metabolites for workers applying coal tar sealant-based coatings on pavements.
The study is providing data regarding levels of exposure to airborne chemicals for comparison to current NIOSH recommended exposure limits, if available.
Results for specific PAH chemicals using NIOSH analytical methods will be reported. PAHs were measured in skin wipe samples, and PAH metabolites were measured in biological samples collected from workers to characterize levels present in this workforce.
In FY 2018, construction surveys increased the database by 264 PAH measurements for air exposure time-weighted-average calculations; 396 skin wipe PAH measurements; and 252 PAH metabolite analyses in urine specimens.