An Integrated Approach to Assess Exposure and Health-Risk from Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a Fastener Manufacturing Industry

An integrated approach was developed to assess exposure and health-risk from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in oil mists in a fastener manufacturing industry. One previously developed model and one new model were adopted for predicting oil mist exposure concentrations emitted from metal work fluid (MWF) and PAHs contained in MWF by using the fastener production rate (Pr) and cumulative fastener production rate (CPr) as predictors, respectively. By applying the annual Pr and CPr records to the above two models, long-term workplace PAH exposure concentrations were predicted. In addition, true exposure data was also collected from the field. The predicted and measured concentrations respectively served as the prior and likelihood distributions in the Bayesian decision analysis (BDA), and the resultant posterior distributions were used to determine the long-term exposure and health-risks posed on workers. Results show that long term exposures to PAHs would result in a 3.1%, 96.7%, and 73.4% chance of exceeding the PEL-TWA (0.2 mg/m3), action level (0.1 mg/m3), and acceptable health risk (10-3), respectively. In conclusion, preventive measures should be taken immediately to reduce workers’ PAH exposures.

Authors: Hsu HI, Lin MY, Chen YC, Chen WY, Yoon C, Chen MR, Tsai PJ. ;Full Source: International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health. 2014 Sep 15;11(9):9578-94. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110909578. ;