Assessment of workers' exposure to palladium in a catalyst production plant

N. Violante, F. Petrucci, O. Senofonte, A. Cristaudo, M. Di Gregorio, G. Forte, A. Alimonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Airborne particulate matter was collected and biomonitoring of workers was performed by sampling blood, urine and hair of 84 exposed subjects, 17 occasionally exposed employees, 21 controls from administrative offices and 25 unexposed people (external controls). Determination of Pd was performed using Quadrupole and High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. The Production of Catalysts Department and the Refining Service presented the highest levels of Pd in airborne matter collected by means of an area sampler. The highest level of soluble Pd (1.66 μg m-3) was found in the Production of Catalysts Department. The highest concentration of Pd in airborne matter, collected by means of personal devices (7.90 μg m-3) was found in the Refining Service. Hair showed a clear distribution pattern among departments, with values ranging from 0.60 to 5.54 μg g-1. Administrative workers presented blood levels of Pd between 2 and 500 times higher than external controls. Only urine levels correlated with the measurements of airborne Pd collected with personal devices. A very strong association between airborne Pd collected by personal devices and Pd levels in hair (r2 = 0.569, with p ≤ 0.01) and urine (r2 = 0.684, with p ≤ 0.01) was found. On the basis of these findings: (i) blood results appear to be an unsuitable biological marker for occupational exposure to Pd; (ii) urine could be considered as a satisfactorily responsive biomarker for occupational monitoring; and (iii) hair cannot be considered a good index of time-related exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of workers' exposure to palladium in a catalyst production plant'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this