Comparing REACH Chemical Safety Assessment information with practice-a case-study of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in floor coating in The Netherlands

On 1st June 2007 the European regulation on Registration, Evaluation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) came into force. Aim of the regulation is safe use of chemicals for humans and for the environment. The core element of REACH is chemical safety assessment of chemicals and communication of health and safety hazards and risk management measures throughout the supply chain. Extended Safety Data Sheets (Ext-SDS) are the primary carriers of health and safety information. The aim of this project was to find out whether the actual exposure to methyl methacrylate (MMA) during the application of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in floor coatings as assessed in the chemical safety assessment, reflect the exposure situations as observed in the Dutch building practice. Use of PMMA flooring and typical exposure situations during application were discussed with twelve representatives of floor laying companies. Representative situations for exposure measurements were designated on the basis of this inventory. Exposure to MMA was measured in the breathing zone of the workers at four construction sites, 14 full shift samples and 14 task based samples were taken by personal air sampling. The task-based samples were compared with estimates from the Targeted Risk Assessment Tool (v3.1) of the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC-TRA) as supplied in the safety assessment from the manufacturer. For task-based measurements, in 12 out of 14 (86%) air samples measured exposure was higher than estimated exposure. Recalculation with a lower ventilation rate (50% instead of 80%) together with a higher temperature during mixing (40°C instead of 20°C) in comparison with the CSR, reduced the number of underestimated exposures to 10 (71%) samples. Estimation with the EMKG-EXPO-Tool resulted in unsafe exposure situations for all scenarios, which is in accordance with the measurement outcomes. In indoor situations, 5 out of 8 full shift exposures (62%) to MMA were higher than the Dutch occupational exposure limit of 205mg/m(3) (8h TWA), which equals the DNEL. For semi-enclosed situations, this was 1 out of 6 (17%). Exposures varied from 31 to 367mg/m(3). The results emphasise that ECETOC-TRA exposure estimates in poorly controlled situations need better underpinning.

Authors: Spee T, Huizer D. ; Full Source: International Journal of Hygiene & Environmental Health. 2017 Jun 4. pii: S1438-4639(17)30054-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.05.012. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]