Volume 5, Issue 4 (Occupational Medicine Quarterly Journal 2013)                   tkj 2013, 5(4): 33-41 | Back to browse issues page

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Department of Occupational Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran , m.jalali@umsha.ac.ir
Abstract:   (12350 Views)
Background: In the foam industries, workers are exposed to various chemicals and working with these chemicals without considering occupational safety and health considerations could lead to different harmful symptoms. Consequently, in order to control measures and reducing risk to acceptable level, it is necessary to assess the health risk of exposure to harmful chemicals by implementation of specific risk assessment techniques in the process industries. The purpose of this study was to assess the health risks arising from chemical exposures in a foam industry in order to identify high-risk occupations and provide guidelines to reduce the risk of employment. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the polyurethane foam industry in 2012. In this study 13 men were examined: the mixer operator jobs (4 men), the operator Cutter (6 men) and repairs and maintenance (3 men). In order to assess the health risks of chemicals the proposed method by Singapore Institute of Occupational Safety and Health was used. First, job tasks and work process were determined and then different chemicals in each task identified and risk ranking was calculated in each job task by using of hazard and exposure rate. Finally, the risk level for each of the materials was obtained by interaction of these two parameters in the equation. Results: The result showed that workers are exposed to 7 chemicals including toluene diisocyanate, polyethylene glycol, polypropylene glycol, ethylene diamine, tin acetate, methylene chloride, and calcium carbonate during their work in plant. Out of these 7 chemicals, the highest risk level was determined for toluene diisocyanate in the foam production operators (Cutter Operator). (risk=3.67) Conclusion: Results showed that workers in the production unit exposed to high levels of toxic vapors of toluene diisocyanate and this leads to change in their spirometry parameters, especially decrease in the FVC and FEV1. Moreover, health risk assessment of harmful chemicals a applied, and appropriate method for job ranking by their risk level was used. These methods could be used for appropriate implementation and prioritization for control measures and reducing risk level to acceptable level.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Chemical agents
Received: 2013/02/21 | Accepted: 2013/12/30 | Published: 2013/12/30

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