Identifying and assessing exposure to chemical agents in enterprises of the textile and clothing industry and developing guidelines for assessing and reducing occupational risk
Małgorzata Pośniak Ph.D.
The task consisted in carrying out measurements of chemical agents and dusts, on the basis of which occupational exposure of workers in seven textile and clothing enterprises was assessed. Concentrations of the following substances were determined at the workstations of operators of whitening equipment in a textile enterprise: sodium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid and air-borne organic dusts of plant origin. Those concentrations were low, as a rule at the level of tenths of the values of maximal admissible concentrations. Occupational risk related to dangerous substances and chemicals was assessed at all 36 workstations that were studied; inhalation and dermal exposure were considered. The obtained results of assessing occupational exposure at the workstations for whitening textiles, printing textiles, preparing templates, and in the process of manufacturing clothes were used in quantitative occupational risk assessment. The assessment of occupational risk related to using chemicals conducted at 15 workstations at enterprises that manufacture textiles showed that at 10 workstations risk was unacceptable because of inhalation exposure and at one because of dermal exposure. Organic dusts of plant origin and formaldehyde are the main factors that can pose risk to the health of workers in textile enterprises, especially to women. Assessment of occupational risk related to those factors showed that risk was low at 21 of the assessed workstations. Guidelines for assessing and reducing occupational risk in textile and clothing enterprises were developed, as was a check lists for identifying hazards posed by dangerous, harmful and strenuous factors for employers in small enterprises of this sector.
Department of Chemical and Aerosol Hazards