Publications (11)20.41 Total impact

  • K. Kersting · U. Musanke · R. Rühl
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    ABSTRACT: GISBAU, hazardous substance information system for the construction industry, has been collecting the safety data sheets for construction chemicals for over 20 years, evaluates the products on the basis of their hazardous contents and describes exposure during product use. Until now, the evaluation of inhalative exposure has been based on the workplace limit values (AGW) and maximum workplace concentration values (MAK). However, this has often given rise to the problem that assessment yardsticks are not available for many substances. The DNELs for the substances so far registered in accordance with REACH have been published on the website of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) since November 2010, and this has increased the proportion of substances with assessment yardsticks in the GISBAU database considerably. For the substances for which an assessment yardstick was already available, the DNEL rarely differs seriously. This article presents a general overview of the GISBAU substances with DNELs and explains the possible effects on workplace assessments with reference to such examples as hydrocarbons, epoxy resin systems and cleaning agents.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012
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    ABSTRACT: The chemical complexity of emissions from bitumen applications is a challenge in the assessment of exposure. Personal sampling of vapours and aerosols of bitumen was organized in 320 bitumen-exposed workers and 69 non-exposed construction workers during 2001-2008. Area sampling was conducted at 44 construction sites. Area and personal sampling of vapours and aerosols of bitumen showed similar concentrations between 5 and 10 mg/m(3), while area sampling yielded higher concentrations above the former occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 10 mg/m(3). The median concentration of personal bitumen exposure was 3.46 mg/m(3) (inter-quartile range 1.80-5.90 mg/m(3)). Only few workers were exposed above the former OEL. The specificity of the method measuring C-H stretch vibration is limited. This accounts for a median background level of 0.20 mg/m³ in non-exposed workers which is likely due to ubiquitous aliphatic hydrocarbons. Further, area measurements of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were taken at 25 construction sites. U.S. EPA PAHs were determined with GC/MS, with the result of a median concentration of 2.47 μg/m(3) at 15 mastic asphalt worksites associated with vapours and aerosols of bitumen, with a Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.45 (95% CI -0.13 to 0.78). PAH exposure at mastic-asphalt works was higher than at reference worksites (median 0.21 μg/m(3)), but about one order of magnitude lower compared to coke-oven works. For a comparison of concentrations of vapours and aerosols of bitumen and PAHs in asphalt works, differences in sampling and analytical methods must to be taken into account.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Archives of Toxicology
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    ABSTRACT: Bitumen (referred to as asphalt in the United States) is a widely used construction material, and emissions from hot bitumen applications have been a long-standing health concern. One objective of the Human Bitumen Study was to identify potential determinants of the exposure to bitumen. The study population analysed comprised 259 male mastic asphalt workers recruited between 2003 and 2008. Personal air sampling in the workers' breathing zone was carried out during the shift to measure exposure to vapours and aerosols of bitumen. The majority of workers were engaged in building construction, where exposure levels were lower than in tunnels but higher than at road construction sites. At building construction sites, exposure levels were influenced by the room size, the processing temperature of the mastic asphalt and the job task. The results show that protective measures should include a reduction in the processing temperature.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Archives of Toxicology
  • U. Musanke · C. Emmel · R. Rühl · D. Höber · H. Kleine
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    ABSTRACT: For the different uses of bitumen the German Bitumen Forum created exposure descriptions which support the enterprises in their risk assessment. The task-related measurement strategy used in the exposure descriptions is explained in detail and compared with the shift-related measurement strategy which is e.g. common for medical or toxicological studies. The main motivation for the task-relation is the large variety of the site of operation, job task, job duration and other parameters on building sites. The conditions on building sites are absolutely different from those in many other industries. Besides the measurement strategy another important issue is, how the height of exposure is defined for a certain data collective. As the exposure descriptions allow the enterprises to omit own exposure measurements, they use an appropriate high security level. Including far more than 1,000 measurement values in the exposure descriptions, the uses of bitumen are exceptionally well-investigated job tasks.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2010 · Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft
  • U. Musanke · R. Rühl · D. Höber · R. Mansfeld

    No preview · Article · Jul 2010 · Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft
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    ABSTRACT: The new workplace limit values for hydrocarbon mixtures raise the question of how the numerous measurements are to be assessed that were recorded in the past at correspondingly exposed workplaces. The concept presented here was devised in co-operation with social partners and occupational health and safety institutions, and it facilitates an assessment of the hydrocarbon concentrations obtained earlier using the new workplace limits. This ensures that not all of the hydrocarbon measurements have to be performed anew.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft
  • Article: Reply [2]
    R. Rühl · H. Blome · D. Breuer · U. Knecht · U. Musanke · E. Nies

    No preview · Article · Jun 2007 · Annals of Occupational Hygiene
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    ABSTRACT: Since the mid-1990s the German BITUMEN Forum has worked on a comprehensive program on the safety and health at work with bitumen. Determining the concentration of emissions arising from handling hot bituminous substances has been one of the main priorities of the forum's work.Almost all branches of industry in Germany that use bitumen have been examined. More than 2000 samples were gathered between 1991 and 2006. The measuring method determined vapors and aerosols emitted from hot bitumen.With the results of these measurement data it is possible to show how exposures to vapors and aerosols of bitumen vary with production and different uses e.g., rolled asphalt, mastic asphalt, roofing, and joint fillers. With the exception of work with mastic asphalt, all uses of bitumen show exposures to vapors and aerosols of bitumen of less than 10 mg/m.The situation for mastic asphalt is entirely different. At the workplaces at mechanical as well as manual work with mastic asphalt very often exposures above 10 mg/m vapors and aerosols of bitumen have been observed.The main reason for this significant effect is the processing temperature. In paving with rolled asphalt—with a maximum laying temperature of approximately 180°C (356°F)—the highest exposures are about 10 mg/m. But for mastic asphalt work (laying temperature of approximately 250°C; 482°F) the exposures are up to more than 50 mg/m. The results of these measurements in almost all branches of industry in Germany that use bitumen will be presented.
    No preview · Article · May 2007 · Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
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    ABSTRACT: In a large project of the German Bitumen Forum, almost all branches of industry in Germany that use bitumen have been examined with regard to bitumen exposure. A total of 1272 samples were gathered between 1991 and 2005. The measuring method includes vapours and aerosols emitted from hot bitumen; the proportions of these two components and their dependency on bitumen temperature are described. Whereas in most branches a value of 10 mg m−3 for the sum of vapours and aerosols is not exceeded, much higher values have been observed for work with mastic asphalt. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been analysed in some cases, but exposure is several orders of magnitudes lower than with the earlier use of tar.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Annals of Occupational Hygiene
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    Reinhold Rühl · Uwe Musanke

    Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Annals of Occupational Hygiene
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    ABSTRACT: Paragraph 16 of the German Ordinance for Hazardous Substances calls upon the employer to determine whether or not substances, preparations or products have a low health risk and can therefore be used. How such determination can be realised is not described. For small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, it is difficult to decide whether a potential substitute is less hazardous than the substance to be replaced, because they are often unable to gather the necessary basic information. Comprehensible input on the basis of which decisions can be taken and risk assessments made are also an indispensable tool for large companies, professional association and supervising authorities. Concepts presently available for risk assessment are presented and their advantages and weaknesses discussed. The emphasis is put on the so-called relative risk figure, which is a product of the factors potency of action, potency of emission and working process. As the potency of action and emission are purely substance-related characteristics, they can be indicated in safety data sheets and other data collections, so that the only task left for the user is to determine a process-specific factor from a table. The advantage of this approach consists in the fact that even substances can be considered for which no information is available. A simple formula helps calculate the relative risk of a preparation.
    No preview · Article · Jan 1996