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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 3756-3773; doi:10.3390/ijerph120403756

Exposure to Airborne Particles and Volatile Organic Compounds from Polyurethane Molding, Spray Painting, Lacquering, and Gluing in a Workshop

1
Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 48, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
2
Nanosafety Research Centre, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland
3
National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Lersø Parkallé 105, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark
4
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, The University of Jordan, Amman, JO-11942, Jordan
5
Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gary Adamkiewicz and M. Patricia Fabian
Received: 18 December 2014 / Revised: 16 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 2 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [564 KB, uploaded 2 April 2015]   |  

Abstract

Due to the health risk related to occupational air pollution exposure, we assessed concentrations and identified sources of particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a handcraft workshop producing fishing lures. The work processes in the site included polyurethane molding, spray painting, lacquering, and gluing. We measured total VOC (TVOC) concentrations and particle size distributions at three locations representing the various phases of the manufacturing and assembly process. The mean working-hour TVOC concentrations in three locations studied were 41, 37, and 24 ppm according to photo-ionization detector measurements. The mean working-hour particle number concentration varied between locations from 3000 to 36,000 cm−3. Analysis of temporal and spatial variations of TVOC concentrations revealed that there were at least four substantial VOC sources: spray gluing, mold-release agent spraying, continuous evaporation from various lacquer and paint containers, and either spray painting or lacquering (probably both). The mold-release agent spray was indirectly also a major source of ultrafine particles. The workers’ exposure can be reduced by improving the local exhaust ventilation at the known sources and by increasing the ventilation rate in the area with the continuous source. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrafine particles; particle size distribution; VOC; workplace aerosols; polyurethane molding; spray painting; occupational exposure; PID ultrafine particles; particle size distribution; VOC; workplace aerosols; polyurethane molding; spray painting; occupational exposure; PID
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mølgaard, B.; Viitanen, A.-K.; Kangas, A.; Huhtiniemi, M.; Larsen, S.T.; Vanhala, E.; Hussein, T.; Boor, B.E.; Hämeri, K.; Koivisto, A.J. Exposure to Airborne Particles and Volatile Organic Compounds from Polyurethane Molding, Spray Painting, Lacquering, and Gluing in a Workshop. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3756-3773.

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