Quantitative skin exposure assessment of metals: A case study
This article provides guidance into the quantitative risk assessment of skin exposures to metals. The use of wipe sampling methodologies has been shown to be standardised and effective for skin exposure assessment to metals. However, there is a lack of guidance documents and frameworks available to evaluate the level of health risk to workers from skin exposures to metals. Adverse health effects from exposures to metals have been described in the literature (Fernández-Nieto et al. 2006; Herman et al. 2006; Kreiss et al. 1996). Monitoring of workplace exposures typically focuses on the assessment of respiratory exposures. To provide a safe workplace there is a need to ensure all routes of exposure are risk assessed and controlled. The goal of this article was to develop skin (surface) exposure limits to metals, using the construction industry as a test environment, to quantitatively assess worker health risk of skin exposures to metals. This research concluded it was not feasible to establish single quantitative skin exposure limits to metals due to the many assumptions surrounding dermal exposures. A range of acceptable exposure limits are presented.
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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation