Assessment of dermal exposure during airless spray painting using a quantitative visualisation technique

Derk H. Brouwer, Ceciel M. Lansink, John W. Cherrie, Joop J. Van Hemmen

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    21 Citations (Scopus)


    The range of dermal exposure to non-volatile compounds during spray painting was studied in a semi-experimental study involving three enterprises and 12 painters. A fluorescent tracer was added to the paint and deposition of the tracer on clothing and uncovered parts of the skin was assessed using video imaging and processing techniques. A container (volume 36 m3) was sprayed with a colourless laquer (varnish) containing 66.7 mg/l fluorescent whitening agent. All painters sprayed the outside of the container. Nine painters repeated the painting a second time and five also sprayed the inside of the container. The painters wore white Tyvek(TM) coveralls, but no gloves. Duration of spraying the outside ranged from 4 to 21 min with a mean of 10 min and the amount of paint sprayed ranged from 3.0 to 12.8 l (mean 6.6 l). The mass of tracer deposited on the coverall ranged from 2.2 to 471 μg (90th percentile 256 μg), whereas, mass deposited on skin (i.e. the hands, wrists, and face) ranged from 0.01 to 52 μg tracer (90th percentile 20 μg). The quantity of tracer on the coverall was three times higher after spraying the inside of the container compared to spraying the outside, whereas the quantity on the skin was similar in both cases. On average 10% of the surface area of the coverall and skin was exposed during spraying the outside. Exposures, expressed in units of mass per area exposed were slightly higher for skin compared to coverall. In this study, deposited mass of tracer was correlated with an alternative exposure metric, i.e. surface area exposed multiplied by the duration of exposure, which has been proposed as a surrogate for uptake. Using a quantitative fluorescent tracer technique, it could be demonstrated that body parts which showed the lowest mass of tracer had the highest exposure as mass per surface area. Compared to other techniques which only determine mass, the ability to identify and quantify the actual surface area exposed is a clear advantage of the quantitative fluorescent tracer technique. (C) 2000 British Occupational Hygiene Society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)543-549
    Number of pages7
    JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000


    • Dermal exposure
    • Quantification technique
    • Spray painting
    • Visualisation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Health Professions(all)


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