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Exposure to Chemical Agents in Swedish Aluminum Foundries and Aluminum Remelting Plants: A Comprehensive Survey
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, of Environmental Health, Stockholm County Council and Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
2001 (English)In: Applied Occupational and Environmantal Hygiene, ISSN 1047-322X, Vol. 16, no 1, 66-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Secondary aluminum melting is mainly performed in sand, die, and static die-casting foundries and remelting plants. In seven Swedish foundries and two remelting plants, the exposure and area concentrations of total dust, metals, organic gases, and vapors were determined mainly as daily, timeweighted averages (TWAs). For most combinations of jobs and agents, the exposure levels were well below the current threshold limits suggested by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®). However, high exposure levels of mineral oil mist (geometric mean [GM] = 0.6 mg/m3) were observed in the die-casting process, with a maximum of 4 mg/m3. The findings were similar for total dust (GM = 5.1 mg/m3) and crystalline quartz (GM = 0.05 mg/m3) during molding operations in the sand foundries, maximum air concentrations being 31 mg/m3 and 0.22 mg/m3, respectively. Other agents which occasionally reached high exposure levels included furfuryl alcohol (up to 23 mg/m3 during furan binder use in sand foundries), aniline (up to 2.6 mg/m3 during thermal degradation of cold-box binders), and dimethylethylamine (up to 9 mg/m3) in the cold-box process used in static die-casting and sand foundries. The average aluminum exposure levels (GM = 0.043 mg/m3) were low in all foundries, individual values not exceeding 0.94 mg/m3. The exposures to metals were below 10 percent of their threshold limits. Similarly low levels were detected of polyaromatic hydrocarbons, phenol, formaldehyde, methylenebisphenyl diisocyanate, and phenylisocyanate. In the aluminum remelting plants, a few high exposure levels of total dust (GM = 1.4 mg/m3) up to 8 mg/m3 were detected in furnace workers. Aluminum and other metals were well below 10 percent of their threshold limits, with the exception of a few high concentrations of manganese, up to 0.14 mg/m3. The between-worker variability (GSDB) in the foundries for total dust, aluminum, and oil mist were on the order of 3?4. The heterogenicity of secondary aluminum melting requires assessment of a wide variety of chemical agents. For certain exposures, technical and medical monitoring programs are still needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 16, no 1, 66-77 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26102DOI: 10.1080/104732201456140Local ID: 10561OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-26102DiVA: diva2:246650
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-08-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Chemical exposures, biological monitoring and cancer risks in Swedish aluminium foundries and remelting plants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chemical exposures, biological monitoring and cancer risks in Swedish aluminium foundries and remelting plants
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In aluminium foundries and remelting plants, a wide range of chemical agents are formed and emitted, including some highly toxic organochlorine compounds. This thesis explores emissions and exposures, as well as worker risk of porphyria and cancer.

During addition of hexachloroethane (HCE) for degassing of the melt, the major findings of organochlorine compounds were hexachlorobenzene (4,300 μg/g HCE) and octachlorostyrene (780 μg/g HCE).

In sand, die- and static-die casting aluminium foundries, the total dust concentrations varied up to 93 mg/m3. The aluminium exposures were generally low (< 0.5 mg/m3). For crystalline quartz, 0.1 mg/m3 was exceeded only occasionally. The levels of minor alloy metals including lead, were low (<0.01 mg/m3). At different core production methods, high levels of dimethylethylarnine, aniline and furfuryl alcohol were observed. In die-casting, 33% of the mineral oil mist levels exceeded 1 mg/m3.

For smelters, the use of HCE as degassing agent, caused increased plasma levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and octachlorostyrene (OCS) compared to controls. A difference in porphyrins, mainly attributed to enhanced concentrations of coproporphyrins, especially coproporphyrin III, was also noted.

In a cohort study of 6,454 workers from seven aluminium foundries and three remelting plants, no overall increased risk for cancer among male and female workers was found. Elevated risks were however seen for lung cancer, anorectal and sinonasal cancer. For sand casting workers, a statistically significant increase in lung cancer morbidity was seen for the long-term employed workers.

Based on a statistical model, cumulative total dust and crystalline quartz mg/m3 * years were assessed for 46 cases and 322 controls in a nested case-control study within the cohort. A non-significant increase in the relative risk was observed with increasing dose. The odds ratio for dust was 2.2 for the high exposure group (>29 mg/m3 * year). A similar trend was seen for crystalline quartz.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2001. 61 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 696
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28651 (URN)13807 (Local ID)91-7219-987-3 (ISBN)13807 (Archive number)13807 (OAI)
Public defence
2001-07-01, Aulan, B-huset, Regionsjukhuset, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2012-08-20Bibliographically approved

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