Exposure Scenario Testing for the Chemical Industries
When it has come to devising exposure scenarios, the customers
for this service have been as varied as their requirements.
Typically they have been included manufacturers of big brand
household cleaning products, formulators of specialist pesticides
and smaller enterprises bringing new products to market.
All our customers approached us because they required a greater
understanding of worker, consumer or environmental risk potentially
generated from their processes or products. There was a need to
identify and characterise the relevant exposure routes and quantify
the levels of exposure for many different reasons, such as:
- To meet the requirements of legislation requiring a risk
assessment e.g. REACh.
- To establish safe re-entry times after product
- To establish whether exposure is below established exposure
limits e.g. derived no effect limits (DNELs).
- To test exposure prevention measures e.g. local exhaust
- To determine the effectiveness of personal protective equipment
What We Did
HSL worked closely with each customer to understand
their requirements and to design appropriate exposure scenarios.
Although we have standard approaches to measuring exposure, our
experimental designs reflected the specific requirements of each,
which were often unique. The following elements were
- Why the data was required, e.g.for legislation, and how best to
ensure was relevant for its end use?
- Did the data already exist or could it be obtained from another
- What were the ethical and statistical requirements?
- What constituted a typical pattern of use, in terms of dose,
application and environment?
- What was the most appropriate sampling strategy? - Inhalation,
dermal, surface deposition and/or biological monitoring.
- Was sampling in situ or in a more controlled environment, e.g.
a test chamber, most appropriate?
- Who should the volunteers be? - The customer's own employees or
- Should the sampling duration be "task" based or "shift"
- What other parameters were needed for controlling and/or
measuring? eg temperature, humidity, air change rate, room volume,
particle size distribution.
- Could added value be achieved for the customer by conducting
additional work alongside the main study?
Such considerations resulted in work plans which were achievable
and which would deliver the results the customer needed.
The exposure scenario generated data that:
- identified and characterised the relevant exposure routes,
information which assisted in risk management.
- quantified exposure and so facilitated risk assessment.
- allowed more informed decisions to be made on risk reduction
measures, e.g. PPE and LEV.
- may have been required by regulation
More importantly, the data produced could then go on to be
interpreted by the other specialist disciplines within HSL which
enabled our customers to recognise and act upon the hazards unique
to their situation.
Our experts can make appropriate recommendations with regard to
exposure control, they can assess the risk or comment on the likely
effect on health.
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