Methylene chloride exposure in industrial workers

S. Ghittori, P. Marraccini, G. Franco, M. Imbriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methods of environmental and biological monitoring were applied in order to evaluate exposure to methylene chloride in workers operating in a factory where this substance was used as a solvent. For the measurement of methylene chloride in environmental concentration, the ambient air was sampled by using personal passive dosimeters. The activated charcoal was desorbed with CS2 and injected into a gas chromatograph connected with a mass spectrometer. The biological monitoring of exposed workers was performed by determining the concentration of CO in alveolar air (C(A), ppm) and methylene chloride in urine (Cu, μ/L). Immediately after the end of the exposure, a urine sample was collected avoiding solvent loss and using gas-tight samplers. Excretion level in urine was determined by using headspace gas chromatography linked to a mass spectrometer. The CO was determined at the end of the shift by using a portable instrument. A group of 20 workers (12 smokers and 8 nonsmokers) in the manufacturing plant were monitored. No significant correlation was observed among the CO of all subjects and the concentration of methylene chloride in ambient air. When those workers who smoked were removed from the analysis, a correlation between the methylene chloride concentration in air and the CO concentration in alveolar air was found. Significant linear correlation was found between the environmental concentration of methylene chloride in the breathing zone and methylene chloride concentration in urine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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