Due to the high heat environment in foundry industries, it is difficult for foundry workers to wear masks during their workday. Thus, how to prevent inhaling vapour or the particulate phase of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is important for occupational hazard management. The present study assesses the characteristics of PAHs emission in foundry and plastic industries to evaluate the removal efficiencies of PAHs while workers use alternative personal protective equipment.The highest 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) level was found for workers who used a cotton-fabric face mask (1.19. μg/g creatinine) and activated-carbon face mask (1.16. μg/g creatinine), compared to a lower level in workers who wore a surgical face mask (0.27. μg/g creatinine) and a N95 respirator (0.51. μg/g creatinine). The urinary 1-OHP in end-of-shift samples correlated to the airborne vapour phase Bapeq, but not for the particulate phase Bapeq in the foundry industry. This is probably because workers wore personal protective equipment that only removed the particulate phase PAH. The current study suggests that future work focus on developing an appropriate and comfortable respirator with high removal efficiency for ultrafine particulates and vapour phase PAHs simultaneously in PAH work environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis