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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Exposure to wood dust and heavy metals in workers using CCA pressure-treated wood.

Authors: Decker, Paul; Cohen, Beverly; Butala, John H; Gordon, Terry

Published In AIHA J (Fairfax, Va), (2002 Mar-Apr)

Abstract: Chemical pesticide treatment enables relatively nonresistant woods to be used in outdoor construction projects. The most prevalent procedure used to protect these woods is pressure treatment with chromium, copper, and arsenic (CCA). This pilot study examined the airborne concentration and particle size distribution of wood particles, chromium, copper, and arsenic at both outdoor (measured over the whole work day) and indoor (measured during the performance of specific tasks) work sites. At the outdoor residential deck construction sites, the arithmetic mean total dust concentration, measured using personal filter cassette samplers, was 0.57 mg/m3. The mass median aerodynamic diameter (da) of the outdoor wood dust was greater than 20 microm. Indoor wood dust concentrations were significantly greater than those measured outdoor and were job category-dependent. The highest mean breathing zone dust concentration, 49.0 mg/m3, was measured at the indoor sanding operation. Personal impactor sampling demonstrated that the mean total airborne concentration of arsenic, but not chromium or copper, was consistently above recommended occupational exposure levels at the indoor work site, and occasionally at the outdoor work sites. At the indoor sanding operation, the mean total chromium, copper, and arsenic concentrations were 345, 170, and 342 microg/m3, respectively. Thus, significant exposure to airborne heavy metals can occur as a result of indoor and outdoor exposure to CCA pressure-treated wood dust. Therefore, current standards for wood dust may not adequately protect workers from the heavy metals commonly used in CCA pressure-treated wood.

PubMed ID: 11975652 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air Pollutants/analysis*; Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis*; Construction Materials*; Dust; Environmental Monitoring; Humans; Metals, Heavy/analysis*; Occupational Exposure*; Wood*

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