Historical exposure levels of inhalable dust in the Polish rubber industry compared to levels in Western Europe

F. de Vocht, H. Kromhout, W. Sobala, B. Peplonska

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Although studies have been carried out to assess inhalable dust exposure levels in the rubber manufacturing industry, the levels of exposure in factories in Eastern Europe are less well documented. Routine stationary sampling for compliance testing of inhalable aerosols has however been conducted in a large factory producing tires and tubes in Poland between 1981 and 1996 (N= 6,152). This study was conducted to assess historical inhalable aerosol levels in different departments in this rubber plant and to compare the results with estimates based on European data from the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, and also Poland (EXASRUB project). Geometric mean (GM) concentrations in the factory ranged from 2.41 mg/m(3) to 5.82 mg/m(3) and were to a large extent associated to the actual production capacity of the plant and flow of the production process. Whereas 3-4 fold differences between departments existed prior to about 1985, stronger reduction of exposure in the raw materials and finishing departments (-12%/year) compared to other departments (range -5%/yr to -3%/yr), resulted in comparable levels in the 1990s. However, in the pre-treating departments, average concentrations were still about a factor 2-3 higher than in otherdepartments, which could presumably be attributed to the use of anti-tacking agents. GM concentrations have been modelled using (1) stationary measurements collected in the Polish factory only, or (2) all European data collected in the EXASRUB project. Comparison of the estimates showed that these were fairly similar for both datasets. This analysis showed that the levels of inhalable aerosols in the Polish rubber industry have been at least a factor three to four higher than in Western European countries in the 1980s and 1990s, depending on the department, but that these differences were getting smaller in the 1990s. Furthermore, the

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINHALED PARTICLES X
EditorsL Kenny
Place of PublicationBRISTOL
PublisherDeutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft & IOP Publishing Ltd
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event10th International Symposium on Inhaled Particles - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sep 200825 Sep 2008

Publication series

NameJournal of Physics Conference Series
ISSN (Print)1742-6588


Conference10th International Symposium on Inhaled Particles
CountryUnited Kingdom


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