RR819 - A small survey of exposure to rubber process dust, rubber fume and N-nitrosamines
This work was carried out in support of HSE's FIT3 Disease Reduction Programme Cancer Project's aim to develop a strategy to reduce the incidence of occupational cancer in Great Britain.
Earlier, research had identified a need for current intelligence on the standard of exposure control being achieved in the UK General Rubber Goods (GRG) industry. The primary objectives of the work were to:
- gather information on inhalation exposures to rubber process dust, rubber fume and nitrosamines;
- assess exposure control strategies; and
- assess potential for dermal exposure.
This study was unable to identify a correlation between nitrosamine exposures and rubber fume exposures at the 7 sites visited. The wide variety of rubber types, curing accelerators and curing conditions mean that nitrosamine exposures may not be predicted from rubber fume exposures. This study reports that:
- although rubber fume exposures were typically below the WEL, LEV was not applied in accordance with guidance already issued in HSE's 'COSHH essentials for rubber manufacturers'; and
- dermal exposure risks at rubber compounding are not adequately controlled and recommends dermal exposure control guidance be added to HSE's 'COSHH essentials for rubber manufacturers' to address this issue.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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