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Master Thesis

Étude de l’exposition professionnelle au chrome dans une aciérie produisant des aciers inoxydables

Abstract : INTRODUCTION: Metabolism and toxicity of the different chromium (Cr) compounds depend of the aerosol particle sizes, of the speciation and solubility of Cr. Therefore, a biological limit value (BLV) has been proposed in France for urinary chromium (CrU) only for chromium electroplating. OBJECTIVE: To study the chromium aerosol emitted in a stainless steel production company and airborne and urinary chromium levels of the operators in order to suggest a BLV for urinary chromium in this sector. METHOD: Assessment of CrU were realized in 141 workers at different times of the workweek and on return from vacation. 43 subjects realized airborne measurement of Total Chromium (Cr(T)) and Chromium VI (Cr(VI)), soluble and insoluble Cr(VI). RESULTS: Cr(VI) represented a maximum of only 6% of Cr(T) and was found into fine particles, 75% being in a soluble form. Median concentration of airborne Cr(VI) was 0.4 µg/m3 but 20% of the values exceeded the occupational exposure limit value 8H (VLEP-8h) of 1 µg/m3. The CrU increased throughout workweek to reach the maximal value in end of workweek - post-shift (EWpS), very well correlated to the workweek airborne Cr(VI). After 15 days of no exposition, 2/3 of the sujets always presented CrU levels higher than these of the general population. A BLV of 1.14µg/g creat can be proposed for the CrU collected in EWpS for the monitoring of exposure in the stainless steel production. Because of high levels of CrU in EWpS and of the slow urinary elimination, a long term follow up of the cancer incidence in this population is essential as well as a process modification to avoid the Cr(VI) genesis or otherwise an improvement of protection means.
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Master Thesis
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Juliette Anselmetti. Étude de l’exposition professionnelle au chrome dans une aciérie produisant des aciers inoxydables . Médecine humaine et pathologie. 2017. ⟨dumas-01627713⟩

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