The scope of this work is the evaluation of the non-carcinogenic occupational risk related to foundry emissions, focusing on the category of workers involved in olfactometric assessments. Odor pollution from industrial activities such as foundries is a serious environmental concern. Sensorial techniques (e.g. dynamic olfactometry, EN13725:2003) currently represent the preferred method for odor emission characterization. During olfactometric analyses, human assessors are directly exposed to the odor at increasing concentrations, thus requiring the assessment of the associated exposure risk to guarantee workers’ safety. This paper presents an investigation aiming to produce an inventory of compounds emitted from foundries together with their odor thresholds and toxicological limits (TLVs), with the final objective to propose a procedure for ensuring workers’ safety during olfactometric analyses. Looking at the database resulting from this study, among the >100 compounds emitted by foundries, 8 have a maximum concentration above their TLV. Among those, ammonia, H2S, phenol, toluene and trimethylamine, produce an odor stimulus before they reach a toxic concentration, thus not representing a risk for olfactometric workers. Benzene, formaldehyde and SO2 are identified as the most critical compounds because they may reach toxic concentrations in foundry emissions, and they start being perceived by humans above their TLV. The proposed procedure entails a minimum dilution factor of 27’000 to be applied to odor samples analyzed by olfactometry, which however might result inapplicable in practical cases, thus pointing out the necessity to adopt chemical measurements to investigate specifically the concentration of the most critical compounds identified in this study.

Non-carcinogenic occupational exposure risk related to foundry emissions: focus on the workers involved in olfactometric assessments

Polvara E.;Capelli L. M. T.;Sironi S.
2021

Abstract

The scope of this work is the evaluation of the non-carcinogenic occupational risk related to foundry emissions, focusing on the category of workers involved in olfactometric assessments. Odor pollution from industrial activities such as foundries is a serious environmental concern. Sensorial techniques (e.g. dynamic olfactometry, EN13725:2003) currently represent the preferred method for odor emission characterization. During olfactometric analyses, human assessors are directly exposed to the odor at increasing concentrations, thus requiring the assessment of the associated exposure risk to guarantee workers’ safety. This paper presents an investigation aiming to produce an inventory of compounds emitted from foundries together with their odor thresholds and toxicological limits (TLVs), with the final objective to propose a procedure for ensuring workers’ safety during olfactometric analyses. Looking at the database resulting from this study, among the >100 compounds emitted by foundries, 8 have a maximum concentration above their TLV. Among those, ammonia, H2S, phenol, toluene and trimethylamine, produce an odor stimulus before they reach a toxic concentration, thus not representing a risk for olfactometric workers. Benzene, formaldehyde and SO2 are identified as the most critical compounds because they may reach toxic concentrations in foundry emissions, and they start being perceived by humans above their TLV. The proposed procedure entails a minimum dilution factor of 27’000 to be applied to odor samples analyzed by olfactometry, which however might result inapplicable in practical cases, thus pointing out the necessity to adopt chemical measurements to investigate specifically the concentration of the most critical compounds identified in this study.
chemical analysis
dynamic olfactometric
gas-chromatography
health effects
odor concentration
odor thresholds
VOC emissions
Air Pollutants
Formaldehyde
Humans
Metallurgy
Occupational Exposure
Odorants
Olfactometry
Toluene
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1203666
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