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Exposure to PCDD/F's of Workers in the Electrofilter Ash Recycling Industry

Blootstelling aan PCDD/F's van Werknemers in de Reclycling Elektrofilteras Industrie


Blood samples were obtained from 17 industrial workers involved in the production of asphalt filling material containing electrofilter ash from MSWIs. The latter material is contaminated with PCDD/Fs. In addition, five supposedly unexposed persons employed by the same industries were sampled. The samples were worked up and analysed for PCDD/Fs by combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Statistical analysis of the results showed that in general I-TEQ values in blood from workers did not exceed those found in 'unexposed' persons and control groups described in the literature. Two blood samples contained significantly higher levels of PCDD/Fs (I-TEQ) than control blood, but this was probably due to analytical artefacts. Octachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD) concentrations in workers were on average eightfold as high as in literature controls and are therefore a strong indication of excess occupational exposure to PCDD/Fs. OCDD concentrations in unexposed persons also exceeded those in literature controls, but it is not sure that this can be attributed to excess exposure. Because of the relatively low toxicity of OCDD the excess exposure observed is as such inconsequential.

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