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Organophosphate Skin Exposure and Biological Burden of Aircraft Maintainers

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2016,28 Feb 2019

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USAFSAM/OED Wright-Patterson AFB United States

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This study aimed to test the hypothesis that aircraft maintainers are exposed to organophosphate esters during maintenance processes.It also sought to test a passive sampling method in the field. Specific aims included quantifying the biological burden of organophosphate esters in aircraft maintainers before and after shifts, determining which workplaces and processes produce the highest exposures, determining the feasibility of silicone passive samplers in the maintenance setting, and comparing silicone passive sampler results to worker bioassays. Results were assessed for difference in sample means between career fields post-shift pre-shift using ANOVA analysis. Logistic regression was used to assess for association between self-reported exposure to organophosphate-containing materials and inhibition of cholinesterase between pre-and post-shift samples. Other covariates were also be considered, such as location, shift type day, swingmid, night, and personal protective equipment worn. Overall, this study confirmed that exposure to organophosphate esters is more likely to occur through contact and absorption of chemicals through the skin then through inhalation of oil mists. Exposure to tricresyl phosphate was most common, followed by triphenyl and tributyl phosphate. Workers did experience cholinesterase inhibition, but the study was not large enough to establish a statistically significant association between exposure and disease, defined as greater than 80 percent cholinesterase inhibition. The association between passive dosimeter exposure and self-reported exposure was also very high, so workers are able to identify when they have been exposed to organophosphate-containing products in the workplace.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research

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