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Exposure to Wood Dust, Resin Acids, and Volatile Organic Compounds During Production of Wood Pellets
Department of Environmental Science, Örebro University, Örebro,Sweden.
Örebro University Hospital, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro, Sweden.
Örebro University Hospital, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro, Sweden.
Örebro University Hospital, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro, Sweden.
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2008 (English)In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 5, 296-304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this study was to investigate exposure to airborne substances that are potentially harmful to health during the production of wood pellets, including wood dust, monoterpenes, and resin acids, and as an indicator of diesel exhaust nitrogen dioxide. In addition, area measurements were taken to assess background exposure levels of these substances, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon monoxide. Measurements were taken at four wood pellet production plants from May 2004 to April 2005. Forty-four workers participated in the study, and a total of 68 personal measurements were taken to determine personal exposure to wood dust (inhalable and total dust), resin acids, monoterpenes, and nitrogen dioxide. In addition, 42 measurements of nitrogen dioxide and 71 measurements of total dust, resin acids, monoterpenes, VOCs, and carbon monoxide were taken to quantify their indoor area concentrations. Personal exposure levels to wood dust were high, and a third of the measured levels of inhalable dust exceeded the Swedish occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 2 mg/m 3 . Parallel measurements of inhalable and total dust indicated that the former were, on average, 3.2 times higher than the latter. The data indicate that workers at the plants are exposed to significant amounts of the resin acid 7-oxodehydroabietic acid in the air, an observation that has not been recorded previously at wood processing and handling plants. The study also found evidence of exposure to dehydroabietic acid, and exposure levels for resin acids approached 74% of the British OEL for colophony, set at 50 μg/m 3 . Personal exposure levels to monoterpenes and nitrogen dioxide were low. Area sampling measurements indicated that aldehydes and terpenes were the most abundant VOCs, suggesting that measuring personal exposure to aldehydes might be of interest. Carbon monoxide levels were under the detection limit in all area measurements. High wood dust exposure levels are likely to have implications for worker health; therefore, it is important to reduce exposure to wood dust in this industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 5, 296-304 p.
National Category
Analytical Chemistry Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74451DOI: 10.1080/15459620801957225OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-74451DiVA: diva2:509357
Available from: 2012-03-12 Created: 2012-03-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Resin acids in commercial products and the work environment of Swedish wood pellets production: Analytical methodology, occurrence and exposure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resin acids in commercial products and the work environment of Swedish wood pellets production: Analytical methodology, occurrence and exposure
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aims of the work this thesis is based upon were to develop convenient analytical procedures for determining resin acids in biological and environmental matrices, and apply them to enhance understanding of the occurrence, exposure to and uptake by exposed individuals of resin acids. Particular focus has been on the workplace environment of the Swedish wood pellets industry. Sample extraction procedures and high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS) methodologies were developed for measuring resin acids in dust, skin and urine samples. Chromatographic separation of abietic (AA) and pimaric acid was achieved by using a polar-embedded C12 stationary phase. The HPLC/ESI-MS method avoids undesirable oxidation of AA, which was found to occur during the derivatisation step in the standard MDHS 83/2 gas chromatography/flame ionisation detection (GC/FID) methodology, leading to false observations of both AA and the oxidation product 7-oxodehydroabietic acid (7-OXO). Personal exposures to resin acids in the Swedish wood pellet production industry were found to be lower, on average, than the British Occupational Exposure Limit for rosin (50 µg/m3). The oxidised resin acid 7-OXO, was detected in both dust and skin samples indicating the presence of allergenic resin acids. A correlation between air and post-shift urinary concentrations of dehydroabietic acid (DHAA), and a trend towards an increase in urinary 7-OXO during work shifts, were also observed. Whether the increase in 7-OXO was due to direct uptake or metabolism of other resin acids cannot be concluded from the results. An efficient HPLC/UV methodology with diode-array detection was developed for screening commercial products for rosin that could be used in laboratories lacking mass spectrometers. Very high concentrations of free resin acids were detected in depilatory wax strips using the method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2012. 60 p.
Keyword
Rosin, resin acids, HPLC/ESI-MS, air sampling, urine samples, wood pellets, wood dust
National Category
Analytical Chemistry
Research subject
Analytical Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74448 (URN)978-91-7447-449-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-04-27, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
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Note
At the time of doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Submitted.Available from: 2012-04-03 Created: 2012-03-12 Last updated: 2012-03-28Bibliographically approved

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