Trends in exposure to inhalable particulate and dermal contamination in the rubber manufacturing industry: effectiveness of control measures implemented over a nine-year period

Ann Occup Hyg. 2000 Aug;44(5):343-54.


Exposure to inhalable particulates and dermal exposure to cyclohexane soluble matter (CSM) were evaluated in seven rubber manufacturing companies in 1988 and 1997. The identified exposure trends were used to study the effectiveness of control measures implemented over a nine-year period. Sampling and analytical methodologies were identical in both surveys. Inhalable particulate exposure was measured with a PAS6 sampling head. Dermal exposure was assessed by means of a dermal pad sampler worn at the lower wrist of the hand of preference. Changes in working organization and control measures taken after 1988 were identified based on discussions with management representatives and two walk-through surveys performed in 1994 and 1997. Exposure data were aggregated for comparison between years both at company and production function level. The mixed effect statistical procedure was used to evaluate the influence of control measures and seniority on current exposure levels. Comparison of the exposure levels between 1988 and 1997 revealed a reduction rate of 5.7 and 6.7% per year for inhalable particulate and dermal exposure, respectively. Companies and production functions with the highest exposure levels in 1988 and workers with seniority (more experience) showed a steeper decline in exposure levels. Fifty-seven control measures, mostly designed to control the levels of inhalable exposure were identified. Elimination of sources significantly reduced the inhalable particulate and dermal exposure by two-thirds of the level of 1988. Reduction of emission did not show a significant overall decrease in exposure concentrations. Control measures designed to control the levels of contaminants showed a significant reduction for both inhalable and dermal exposure, respectively 34 and 49% of the exposure level of 1988. These results indicate that efforts taken to improve work conditions in the rubber manufacturing industry in The Netherlands over this decade have been successful in reducing both inhalable particulate and dermal contamination.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Particle Size
  • Rubber*
  • Skin Absorption*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Rubber