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.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2001. , 61 p.