Chemical Markers of Occupational Exposure to Wood Dust
1Department of Cardiologic, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
Department of Cardiologic, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padova
The aim of the study was to identify some specific chemicals for a wood type, to develop analytical methods for their dosage and to evaluate their reliability as chemical markers in the evaluation of exposure.
Situation / Problem:
Wood dust exposure has long been linked with respiratory disease such as chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, rhinitis, occupational asthma and sinosanal adenocarcinoma. With increasing concerns about the potential carcinogenicity or the toxicity of certain hardwoods, there is a need for sensitive and specific methods that can differentiate the species of wood and permit a more complete and accurate assessment of the exposure to carcinogens in woodworking.
An initial evaluation was carried out by measuring the concentration of tannins, higher in hardwoods than softwoods, in order to differentiate the two botanical classes. Subsequently, certain specific compounds have been identified as possible chemical markers of some wood species: gallic acid (AG) as marker of oak dust, 2-methylanthrachinone (MeA), lapacol (LP) and deoxylapacol (DLP) for teak dust, & plicatic acid (PA) for western red cedar (WRC) dust. New analytical methods were developed and validated for the dosing of these markers in the dust of their respective woods and their specificity was verified. The wood dust in the air was sampled with IOM samplers equipped with PVC filters (25 mm diameter, 5 µm pore-size) at flow rate of 2 l/min or with Button samplers equipped with glass fiber filters (25 mm diameter, 1 µm pore-size) at flow rate of 4 l/min. Sampling was carried out during the work phases of cutting and sanding where both fixed machines and portable tools were used.
Results / Conclusions:
The wood dust exposures were in the range of 0.3-11.1 mg/m3 for oak dust, 0.5-5.2 mg/m3 for teak dust and 0.01-29.59 mg/m3 for western red cedar dust. The content of the chemical markers in the respective wood was in the range of 0.012-0.025% for GA; 0.13-0.65% for MeA; 0.006-0.261% for the LP; 0.038-0.4979% for DLP and 0.04-3.71% for the PA. Good correlations were found between the concentration of the chemical markers and the dust mass levels of the respective wood in the working environments. On the basis of the results obtained, these chemicals appear to be good markers of the relative wood dust and thus very useful for estimating the true quantities of wood dust inhaled in case of exposure to mixed wood dust or when other types of dust are involved.
Exposure Assessment Strategies
Sampling and Analysis
Acknowledgements and References
List any additional people who worked on the project or provided guidance and support along with details on the role they played in the research. (Please include first name, last name, organization, city, state and country).
Taekhee, Lee, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA. Researcher.
Eungyung, Lee, Exposure Assessment Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA. Researcher.
Martin, Harper, Zefon International Inc., Ocala (FL), USA, (NIOSH - retired). Researcher.
Maria Luisa, Scapellato, Department of Cardiologic, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua, 35128 Padua, Italy. Researcher.
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
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