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J Occup Health year 2002 volume 44 number 5 page 294 - 300
Classification Original
Title Exposure Assessment on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) for Tollway Station Workers via Direct and Indirect Approaches
Author Ching-Chang LEE1, Mei-Ru CHEN1, Tung-Sheng SHIH2, Perng-Jy TSAI1, Ching-Huang LAI3 and Saou-Hsing LIOU3
Organization 1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University,
2Institute of Occupational Safety and Healthy, Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan and 3Department of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, Taiwan
Keywords Volatile organic compounds, Tollway station booth attendants, Exposure assessment, Vehicle flow rate
Correspondence P. -J. Tsai, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, 138, Sheng-Li Rd., Tainan 70428, Taiwan
Abstract Exposure Assessment on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) for Tollway Station Workers via Direct and Indirect Approaches: Ching-Chang LEE, et al. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University-The present study was set out to assess the exposure levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for tollway station workers via direct and indirect approaches. For direct approach, personal samplings were conducted on 25, 30 and 31 booth attendants of a tollway station during the dayshift (08:00 AM-16:00 PM), nightshift (16:00 PM-24:00 AM), and late-nightshift (24:00 AM-08:00 AM), respectively. For each collected sample, five target VOCs including benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) were analyzed. Results show that at least four of the exposure profiles of the five target VOCs for the booth attendants on any given workshift were log-normally distributed. The above results suggest that the booth attendants on any given workshift can be regarded as a similar exposure group (SEG). The exposure levels for both the dayshift and the nightshift booth attendants were quite similar, but were significantly higher than those for the late-nightshift booth attendants. A similar tend was found in the vehicle flow rates. The above results indicate that the difference in VOC exposure levels for the booth attendants on the three workshifts could be due to the intrinsic difference in the vehicle flow rates. After conducting linear regression analyses, we found that the vehicle flowrates were able to explain the variation in VOC exposure levels up to 40%-52%. It is concluded that the vehicle flow rates can be used as an indirect indicator for predicting the booth attendants' VOC exposure levels.