Author(s): Caldwell DJ, Armstrong TW, Barone NJ, Suder JA, Evans MJ
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Abstract An occupational exposure database for hydrocarbon solvent end-use applications was constructed from the published literature. The database provides exposure assessment information for such purposes as regulatory risk assessments, support of industry product stewardship initiatives, and identification of applications in which limited exposure data are available. It is quantitative, documented, and based on credible data. Approximately 350 articles containing quantitative hydrocarbon solvent exposure data were identified using a search of computer databases of published literature. Many articles did not report sufficient details of the exposure data for inclusion in the database (e.g., full-shift exposure or task-based exposure data). Others were excluded because only limited summary statistics were provided, which precluded statistical analysis of the data (e.g., arithmetic mean concentration presented, but no sample number). Following evaluation, 16,880 hydrocarbon solvent exposure measurements from 99 articles were entered into a database for analysis. Methods used to identify and evaluate published solvent exposure data are described along with more detailed analysis of worker exposure to hydrocarbon solvents in three major end-use applications: painting and coating, printing, and adhesives. Solvent exposures were evaluated against current ACGIH threshold limit values (TLVs) and trends were identified. Limited quantitative data are available prior to 1970. In general, reported hydrocarbon solvent exposures decreased fourfold from 1960 to 1998, were below the TLVs applicable to specific hydrocarbon solvents at the time, and on average have been below 40\% of the TLV since 1980. The database already has proved valuable; however, the utility of published exposure data could be further improved if authors consistently reported essential data elements and supporting information.
This article was published in AIHAJ
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis