Perng-Jy Tsai


3 Exposure Assessment for Worker Exposed to Heavy Metals during Road Marking Operations

Authors: Ying-Fang Wang, Perng-Jy Tsai, Yin-Hsuan Wu, Shun-Hui Chung


The present study was conducted to characterize exposure concentrations, concentrations deposited on the different respiratory regions, and resultant health risks associated with heavy metal exposures for road marking workers. Road marking workers of three similar exposure groups (SEGs) were selected, including the paint pouring worker, marking worker, and preparing worker. Personal exposure samples were collected using an inhalable dust sampler (IOM), and the involved particle size distribution samples were estimated using an eight-stage Marple personal cascade impactor during five working days. In total, 25 IOM samples and 20 Marple samples were collected. All collected samples were analyzed for their heavy metal contents using the ICP/MS. The resultant heavy metal particle size distributions were also used to estimate the fractions of particle deposited on the head airways (Chead), tracheobronchial (Cthorac) and alveolar regions (Cresp) of the exposed workers. In addition, Pb and Cr were selected to estimate the incremental cancer risk, and Zn, Ti, and Mo were selected to estimate the corresponding non-cancer risk in the present study. Results show that three heavy metals, including Pb, Cr, and Ti, were found with the highest concentrations for the SEG of the paint pouring worker (=0.585±2.98, 0.307±1.71, 0.902±2.99 μg/m³, respectively). For the fraction of heavy metal particle deposited on the respiratory tract, both alveolar and head regions were found with the highest values (=23-43% and 39-61%, respectively). For both SEGs of the paint pouring and marking, 51% of Cr, 59-61% of Zn, and 48-51% of Ti were found to be deposited on the alveolar region, and 41-43% of Pb was deposited on the head region. Finally, the incremental cancer risk for the SEGs of the paint pouring, marking, and preparing were found as 1.08×10⁻⁵, 2.78×10⁻⁶, and 2.20×10⁻⁶, respectively. In addition, the estimated non-cancer risk for the above three SEGs was found to be consistently less than unity. In conclusion, though the estimated non-cancer risk was less than unity, all resultant incremental cancer risk was greater than 10⁻⁶ indicating the abatement of workers’ exposure is necessary. It is suggested that strategies, including placing on the molten kettle, substitution the currently used paints for less heavy metal containing paints, and wearing fume protecting personal protective equipment can be considered in the future from reducing the worker’s exposure aspect.

Keywords: Health Risk Assessment, heavy metal, respiratory track deposition, road marking

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2 Long-Term Exposure, Health Risk, and Loss of Quality-Adjusted Life Expectancy Assessments for Vinyl Chloride Monomer Workers

Authors: Perng-Jy Tsai, Tzu-Ting Hu, Jung-Der Wang, Ming-Yeng Lin, Jin-Luh Chen


The vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) has been classified as group 1 (human) carcinogen by the IARC. Workers exposed to VCM are known associated with the development of the liver cancer and hence might cause economical and health losses. Particularly, for those work for the petrochemical industry have been seriously concerned in the environmental and occupational health field. Considering assessing workers’ health risks and their resultant economical and health losses requires the establishment of long-term VCM exposure data for any similar exposure group (SEG) of interest, the development of suitable technologies has become an urgent and important issue. In the present study, VCM exposures for petrochemical industry workers were determined firstly based on the database of the 'Workplace Environmental Monitoring Information Systems (WEMIS)' provided by Taiwan OSHA. Considering the existence of miss data, the reconstruction of historical exposure techniques were then used for completing the long-term exposure data for SEGs with routine operations. For SEGs with non-routine operations, exposure modeling techniques, together with their time/activity records, were adopted for determining their long-term exposure concentrations. The Bayesian decision analysis (BDA) was adopted for conducting exposure and health risk assessments for any given SEG in the petrochemical industry. The resultant excessive cancer risk was then used to determine the corresponding loss of quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). Results show that low average concentrations can be found for SEGs with routine operations (e.g., VCM rectification 0.0973 ppm, polymerization 0.306 ppm, reaction tank 0.33 ppm, VCM recovery 1.4 ppm, control room 0.14 ppm, VCM storage tanks 0.095 ppm and wastewater treatment 0.390 ppm), and the above values were much lower than that of the permissible exposure limit (PEL; 3 ppm) of VCM promulgated in Taiwan. For non-routine workers, though their high exposure concentrations, their low exposure time and frequencies result in low corresponding health risks. Through the consideration of exposure assessment results, health risk assessment results, and QALE results simultaneously, it is concluded that the proposed method was useful for prioritizing SEGs for conducting exposure abatement measurements. Particularly, the obtained QALE results further indicate the importance of reducing workers’ VCM exposures, though their exposures were low as in comparison with the PEL and the acceptable health risk.

Keywords: Exposure Assessment, Health Risk Assessment, petrochemical industry, quality-adjusted life years, vinyl chloride monomer

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1 Long-Term Exposure Assessments for Cooking Workers Exposed to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Aldehydes Containing in Cooking Fumes

Authors: Yu-Cheng Chen, Chun-Yu Chen, Kua-Rong Wu, Perng-Jy Tsai


Cooking fumes are known containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aldehydes, and some of them have been proven carcinogenic or possibly carcinogenic to humans. Considering their chronic health effects, long-term exposure data is required for assessing cooking workers’ lifetime health risks. Previous exposure assessment studies, due to both time and cost constraints, mostly were based on the cross-sectional data. Therefore, establishing a long-term exposure data has become an important issue for conducting health risk assessment for cooking workers. An approach was proposed in this study. Here, the generation rates of both PAHs and aldehydes from a cooking process were determined by placing a sampling train exactly under the under the exhaust fan under the both the total enclosure condition and normal operating condition, respectively. Subtracting the concentration collected by the former (representing the total emitted concentration) from that of the latter (representing the hood collected concentration), the fugitive emitted concentration was determined. The above data was further converted to determine the generation rates based on the flow rates specified for the exhaust fan. The determinations of the above generation rates were conducted in a testing chamber with a selected cooking process (deep-frying chicken nuggets under 3 L peanut oil at 200°C). The sampling train installed under the exhaust fan consisted respectively an IOM inhalable sampler with a glass fiber filter for collecting particle-phase PAHs, followed by a XAD-2 tube for gas-phase PAHs. The above was also used to sample aldehydes, however, installed with a filter pre-coated with DNPH, and followed by a 2,4-DNPH-cartridge for collecting particle-phase and gas-phase aldehydes, respectively. PAHs and aldehydes samples were analyzed by GC/MS-MS (Agilent 7890B), and HPLC-UV (HITACHI L-7100), respectively. The obtained generation rates of both PAHs and aldehydes were applied to the near-field/ far-field exposure model to estimate the exposures of cooks (the estimated near-field concentration), and helpers (the estimated far-field concentration). For validating purposes, both PAHs and aldehydes samplings were conducted simultaneously using the same sampling train at both near-field and far-field sites of the testing chamber. The sampling results, together with the use of the mixed-effect model, were used to calibrate the estimated near-field/ far-field exposures. In the present study, the obtained emission rates were further converted to emission factor of both PAHs and aldehydes according to the amount of food oil consumed. Applying the long-term food oil consumption records, the emission rates for both PAHs and aldehydes were determined, and the long-term exposure databanks for cooks (the estimated near-field concentration), and helpers (the estimated far-field concentration) were then determined. Results show that the proposed approach was adequate to determine the generation rates of both PAHs and aldehydes under various fan exhaust flow rate conditions. The estimated near-field/ far-field exposures, though were significantly different from that obtained from the field, can be calibrated using the mixed effect model. Finally, the established long-term data bank could provide a useful basis for conducting long-term exposure assessments for cooking workers exposed to PAHs and aldehydes.

Keywords: Modeling, Aldehydes, cooking oil fumes, long-term exposure assessment, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

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