Health risk assessment of exposure to ambient formaldehyde in carpet manufacturing industries


Formaldehyde is categorized as a definitive carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. To the best of our knowledge, no study has assessed the health risks of occupational exposure of workers in carpet manufacturing plants to formaldehyde. Therefore, this study assesses the health risks of the occupational exposure to formaldehyde of 67 male workers in carpet manufacturing plants in Iran in 2022. Exposure to formaldehyde was quantitatively determined after collecting personal exposure samples from the workers’ respiratory zone and spectrophotometric analysis based on method number 3500 of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. In the next step, the carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risks based on personal exposure to formaldehyde were evaluated. Sensitivity analyses were employed using the Monte Carlo simulation method. The mean inhalation exposure of workers to formaldehyde was 0.636 mg m-3. The inhalation cancer risk value based on the integrated risk information system for formaldehyde was 4.06×10-4 ± 3.17×10-5 (mean ± standard deviation), which exceeded the value reported by the US Environmental Protection Agency. An unacceptable carcinogenic risk level was found in 75.6% of workers. The highest mean inhalation cancer risk was 6.74×10-4 (i.e., 6.74 additional cases per 10,000 employees exposed) was found in sizing post employees. The hazard quotient of formaldehyde was 0.311±0.024. The formaldehyde concentration had a considerable effect on the health risk. The findings of this study provide valuable scientific information that supports the development of future policies to enhance the health status of employees in carpet manufacturing plants.

Authors: Amir Hossein Khoshakhlagh, Kai-Jen Chuang, Prashant Kumar
; Full Source: Environmental science and pollution research international 2022 Oct 1. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-23353-6.