Cleanup worker exposures to hazardous chemicals at a former nuclear weapons plant : piloting of an exposure surveillance system

LaMontagne, Anthony D., Van, Dyke Michael V., Martyny, John W. and Ruttenber, A. James 2001, Cleanup worker exposures to hazardous chemicals at a former nuclear weapons plant : piloting of an exposure surveillance system, Applied occupational and environmental hygiene, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 284-290, doi: 10.1080/10473220119685.

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Title Cleanup worker exposures to hazardous chemicals at a former nuclear weapons plant : piloting of an exposure surveillance system
Author(s) LaMontagne, Anthony D.ORCID iD for LaMontagne, Anthony D.
Van, Dyke Michael V.
Martyny, John W.
Ruttenber, A. James
Journal name Applied occupational and environmental hygiene
Volume number 16
Issue number 2
Start page 284
End page 290
Total pages 6
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2001
ISSN 1521-0898
Keyword(s) exposure database
exposure surveillance
doe cleanup
hazardous waste worker
nuclear weapons
Summary Cleanup of former U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons production facilities involves potential exposures to various hazardous chemicals. We have collaboratively developed and piloted an exposure database and surveillance system for cleanup worker hazardous chemical exposure data with a cleanup contractor at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS). A unique system feature is the incorporation of a 34-category work task-coding scheme. This report presents an overview of the data captured by this system during development and piloting from March 1995 through August 1998. All air samples collected were entered into the system. Of the 859 breathing zone samples collected, 103 unique employees and 39 unique compounds were represented. Breathing zone exposure levels were usually low (86% of breathing zone samples were below analytical limits of detection). The use of respirators and other exposure controls was high (87 and 88%, respectively). Occasional high-level excursions did occur. Detailed quantitative summaries are provided for the six most monitored compounds: asbestos, beryllium, carbon tetrachloride, chromium, lead, and methylene chloride. Task and job title data were successfully collected for most samples, and showed specific cleanup activities by pipe fitters to be the most commonly represented in the database. Importantly, these results demonstrate the feasibility of the implementation of integrated exposure database and surveillance systems by practicing industrial hygienists employed in industry as well as the preventive potential and research uses of such systems. This exposure database and surveillance system--the central features of which are applicable in any industrial work setting--has enabled one of the first systematic quantitative characterizations of DOE cleanup worker exposures to hazardous chemicals.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10473220119685
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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