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Ind Health. 1998 Jan;36(1):74-7.

Occupational exposure to chromium--an assessment of environmental pollution levels and biological monitoring of exposed workers.

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  • 1Institute of Occupational Medicine, School of Medicine, Catholic University of S. Cuore, Rome, Italy.


In an aircraft construction factory where adhesives containing Cr(VI) compounds were used, the risk of chromium exposure was studied by assessing airborne chromium levels and urinary levels of chromium excretion. Chromium exposure was evaluated by personal sampling over a period of 4 hr in a group of 16 occupational workers selected from a group of 55. Chromium absorption was determined by collecting urine samples from all subjects (n = 55) at 3 different times: prior to the work-shift at the beginning of the working week and prior to and after the workshift at the end of the working week. Each urine sample was tested for chromium and creatinine concentration. Results showed very low exposure to airborne chromium, since values obtained (0.02-1.5 micrograms/m3, GM: 0.17, GSD: 5.34 micrograms/m3) were significantly lower than the ACGIH Hygiene Standard (50 micrograms/m3). Likewise, urinary chromium excretion (0.16-7.74 micrograms/g creat.) was higher than excretion in the general population (0.07-0.17 microgram/g creat.) but lower than BEI-ACGIH (30 micrograms/g creat.). The greatest difference between excretion levels measured before and after the workshift was 2.44 micrograms/g creat, i.e. 4 times lower than the difference proposed by ACGIH (10 micrograms/g creat.).

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