Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Original Articles
Occupational Exposure to Perchloroethylene in Dry-cleaning Shops in Tehran, Iran
Seyed Reza AZIMI PIRSARAEIAli KHAVANINHassan ASILIANArdalan SOLEIMANIAN
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2009 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 155-159

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Abstract

Perchloroethylene, the most widely used solvent in dry cleaning, is toxic to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system and may be a human carcinogen. An exposure assessment was carried out in 69 dry-cleaning shops using perchloroethylene in Tehran city, Iran. The 8-h time weighted average (TWA) breathing zone air samples and end-exhaled air samples were obtained from 179 workers who worked as the job titles included machine operator (n=71), presser (n=63) and counter area (clerk) (n=45). The mean perchloroethylene concentrations in breathing zone air were 11.5 ppm, 9.6 ppm and 7.2 ppm respectively. The mean perchloroethylene concentrations in end-exhaled air of the same participants in Saturday morning (prior to shift of workweek) were 1.7 ppm, 1.5 ppm and 1.1 ppm, but in Thursday evening (end of shift at end of workweek) were 2.4 ppm, 2.0 ppm and 1.5 ppm respectively. This study found that, the mean perchloroethylene concentrations in breathing zone air and end-exhaled air in the dry-cleaning workers were lower than the TLV (25 ppm) and BEI (5 ppm) recommended by ACGIH. Regression analysis showed that the concentration of perchloroethylene in breathing zone air (TWA) was highly and significantly correlated with the concentration of perchloroethylene in end-exhaled air in Saturday morning with a regression equation Y=0.147X + 0.031 (r=0.99, p<0.001) and also in Thursday evening with a regression equation Y=0.201X + 0.072 (r=0.98, p<0.001) where X is the concentration of perchloroethylene in breathing zone air and Y is that the concentration of perchloroethylene in end-exhaled air. The results also showed the potential utility of measuring the concentration of perchloroethylene in end-exhaled air as a method for assessing relative exposure in dry cleaning shops which use it.

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© 2009 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
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