Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1987;13(5):431-437    pdf


Exposure to creosote in the impregnation and handling of impregnated wood.

by Heikkila PR, Hameila M, Pyy L, Raunu P

The major components of vapors and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in particulate matter were identified and quantified in two creosote impregnation plants and in the handling of treated wood. The vapors were collected on XAD-2 resin (recovery in the range of 82-102%) and analyzed by gas chromatography. Particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were collected on glass fiber filters and analyzed with high-pressure liquid chromatography with a fluorescence detector. The main components of the vapors were naphthalene, methyl naphthalenes, indene, phenol, and its methyl homologues, benzothiophene, diphenyl, acenaphthene and fluorene. The exposure of the workers to vapors varied between 0.1 and 11 mg/m3. The concentrations of particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons varied between 0.2 and 46 micrograms/m3. The benzo(a)pyrene concentration was under 0.03 micrograms/m3, except in manual metal-arc welding and in the boring of railroad ties, where it was 0.24-0.89 micrograms/m3. In the measurement of creosote vapors, naphthalene could be used as an indicator agent.