This paper provides guidance on the assessment of occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as a group.
This paper was compiled to give guidance on the assessment of occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as a group.
The current Safe Work Australia (SWA) workplace exposure standard (WES) and current international occupational exposure limits (OEL) are discussed and the possible health effects examined.
The occupational health risk associated with exposure of chimney sweeps to soot now known to contain PAHs is one of the earliest known cancers and was famously documented in 1775 by Sir Percival Pott. Since then the association between occupational exposure to PAHs and adverse health effects has been the subject of many studies.
The AIOH suggests that the use of CTPVs as a WES for PAHs may not be a reliable measure of exposure to the carcinogenic PAH compounds due to the non‐specific nature of the analysis. Also there are analytical issues that arise with measurements below 0.04 mg/m3. Whilst the CTPV WES could still be used as an initial screening or action level, the AIOH recommends that it should be replaced by a B[a]P 8‐hour TWA WES of 0.2 mg/m3.
AIOH Exposure Standards Committee
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